Coinbase, one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges in the world, has found itself embroiled in controversy once again.
This time, the company has caused a stir by referring to Pepe Coin (PEPE), a popular meme coin, as a “hate symbol” used by alt-right organizations.
This move by Coinbase has stirred up a heated debate among the crypto community, with some users expressing outrage over what they perceive as an unfair characterization of Pepe Coin.
PEPE Supporters Call For Coinbase Boycott
The email from Coinbase cites an Anti-Defamation League (ADL) decision from 2016, which added the “Pepe the Frog” meme character to its database of online hate symbols. The move has outraged Pepe Coin supporters and users, who have demanded an apology from the exchange and even called for a boycott of the crypto exchange.
The controversy has been amplified by popular crypto influencer Borovik.eth, who shared a screenshot of the email on May 10.
Why is @coinbase sending out emails telling people that $pepe is an alt-right hate symbol?? pic.twitter.com/UNzClQlwwv
— borovik.eth (@3orovik) May 11, 2023
The email’s reference to Pepe Coin as a hate symbol has drawn the ire of many in the crypto community, who argue that the cryptocurrency has nothing to do with hate and that the company’s description is unfair and unwarranted. Some users have even urged others to delete their Coinbase accounts in protest.
Image: University of San Diego
The Anti-Defamation League Involvement In Pepe Coin Controversy
The ADL is an international Jewish non-governmental organization that aims to combat anti-Semitism and other forms of hate and bigotry.
In 2016, the ADL added “Pepe the Frog” to its database of hate symbols, stating that the character had been appropriated by white supremacist groups and used to spread hate and bigotry online. While the character was originally created as a harmless meme, it has since been co-opted by extremist groups and used to promote hateful ideologies.
Crypto total market cap slides to $1.10 trillion today. Chart: TradingView.com
Pepe Coin Users Urged To Transfer Funds To Gemini Following ‘Hate Symbol’ Label
A Twitter user who goes by the name “Kenobi” has expressed support for Pepe Coin and called for a boycott of Coinbase, following the exchange’s description of the popular meme coin as a “hate symbol.”
I will be closing my personal and business accounts with @Coinbase and moving them to @Gemini.#PEPE IS NOT A SYMBOL OF HATE@brian_armstrong, the $PEPE community DEMANDS that you retract your vulgar statement about #PEPECOIN!!#DELETECOINBASE, SHORT $COIN 👎
— Kenobi (@OG_Kenobi_Hello) May 11, 2023
In a tweet, Kenobi argued that Pepe is not a symbol of hate and announced that he would be transferring his funds to Gemini, another US-based cryptocurrency exchange. He also used the hashtag “#deletecoinbase” in his tweet, urging others to join him in boycotting the exchange.
The controversy surrounding Pepe Coin has led to a mass exodus of users and fans from the exchange, with many flocking to Gemini instead.
According to reports, Gemini has become the 24th largest holder of Pepe Coin since listing the token on its exchange. However, Coinbase has not yet indicated whether it plans to list the token, despite calls from members of the crypto community on Twitter and other platforms.
-Featured image from AZ Animals