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Pepe (PEPE) Uproar: Coinbase Issues Apology Amid Controversy

Thu, 05/11/2023 - 17:43
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Alex Dovbnya
Coinbase, a leading cryptocurrency exchange, found itself in hot water yesterday as it issued a public apology following a controversy regarding its portrayal of Pepe
Pepe (PEPE) Uproar: Coinbase Issues Apology Amid Controversy
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Coinbase, one of the leading cryptocurrency exchanges, issued an apology yesterday following a storm of controversy over its portrayal of the Pepe (PEPE) meme token.

Paul Grewal, the Chief Legal Officer of Coinbase, admitted in a tweet that the exchange's recent newsletter covering the rapid growth of Pepe and other meme coins failed to provide a comprehensive picture of the meme's history, prompting widespread criticism from the crypto community.

Pepe the Frog, the mascot of the Pepe coin, is a meme that first surfaced on the internet nearly two decades ago as a comic-strip character.

Over time, however, it was co-opted as a hate symbol by alt-right groups, according to the Anti-Defamation League. This contentious aspect of the meme's history was the focus of Coinbase's commentary, which, despite a disclaimer distancing the author's views from those of Coinbase, ignited a backlash from Pepe supporters.

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In response to the newsletter, Pepe supporters took to Twitter to express their dissatisfaction. Many stressed that the Pepe meme is not a hate symbol, asserting instead that the movement represents love, equity, and a protest against venture-capital-backed entities that they claim have exploited the Web3 community.

Some even threatened to close their Coinbase accounts in protest, leading to the hashtag "#deletecoinbase" trending on Twitter.

Pepe has experienced a meteoric rise in recent weeks, becoming the fastest Ethereum token to reach the $1 billion mark. However, the meme token is now down 64% from its record high.  

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About the author

Alex Dovbnya (aka AlexMorris) is a cryptocurrency expert, trader and journalist with extensive experience of covering everything related to the burgeoning industry — from price analysis to Blockchain disruption. Alex authored more than 1,000 stories for U.Today, CryptoComes and other fintech media outlets. He’s particularly interested in regulatory trends around the globe that are shaping the future of digital assets, can be contacted at