Coinbase is facing withering backlash and a boycott from some members of the crypto community who are turned off by the exchange’s Pepe-hating rhetoric.
In an email newsletter sent to Coinbase users on Wednesday, the crypto exchange called Pepe a “hate symbol” while highlighting an association of the Pepe the Frog meme to political groups.
“The token is based on the Pepe the Frog meme, which first surfaced on the internet nearly 20 years ago as a comic-strip character,” the email read. “Over time it has been co-opted as a hate symbol by alt-right groups, according to the Anti-Defamation League.”
Pepe Community Seethes With Anger
While the email has a disclaimer that dissociates the writer and does “not necessarily reflect the views of Coinbase or its employees”, a legion of fans and investors of the frog-themed meme coin were outraged at Coinbase’s portrayal of their beloved token.
Solidity developer and PEPE supporter Kenobi, for instance, astutely stated that the token is not a symbol of hate and that he would be transferring his crypto funds to Gemini digital asset exchange.
The hashtag “#deletecoinbase” began trending on Twitter Thursday as users seemingly deleted their accounts with the leading U.S. exchange.
Former congressional candidate David Gokhshtein predicts that Coinbase will lose a boatload of customers for “disrespecting PEPE”.
Coinbase Avoids Listing PEPE
After the market’s largest exchange Binance, listed Pepe on the platform’s innovation zone on May 5, the token’s fans have been calling for other crypto exchanges to list the newly-launched meme coin as well.
Winklevoss twins-owned exchange Gemini succumbed to the pressure as it announced the listing of PEPE on May 9. Coinbase, on the other hand, has not indicated any plans to list the token on its exchange for trading.
Pepecoin has been on a roll since its launch last month, with its market cap peaking at $1.82 billion on May 6. Besides its stratospheric price increase, the flurry of speculation also sent Ethereum gas fees skyrocketing to 12-month highs.
However, the Pepe rally has run out of steam in recent days, with the token falling from a peak of $0.00000431 to $0.00000164 at press time, per CoinGecko. The downward price action has seen the meme coin’s total market cap sinking to $691 million.