Coinbase Says it 'Screwed Up' Pepecoin Coverage in Its Newsletter

The crypto exchange set off a kerfuffle by describing the Pepe the Frog meme as having been co-opted as a hate symbol by alt-right groups.

AccessTimeIconMay 11, 2023 at 4:41 p.m. UTC
Updated May 11, 2023 at 5:14 p.m. UTC
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Coinbase (COIN) chief legal officer, Paul Grewal apologized for a company newsletter on the memecoin frenzy suggesting that the Pepe the Frog meme, on which red-hot PEPE token is based, has been used in racist ways on the internet.

"We screwed up and we are sorry," tweeted Grewal late Thursday morning. "Yesterday we shared an overview of the PEPE meme coin to provide a fact-based picture of a trending topic," he continued. "This did not provide the whole picture of the history of the meme and we apologize to the community."

Published Wednesday (and since edited out), that part of the newsletter set off a firestorm of criticism on Twitter, with the #deletecoinbase hashtag trending on the social media site early Thursday morning.

PEPE remains lower by 15% over the past 24 hours, according to CoinMarketCap. COIN is lower by 2% on Thursday alongside a broad selloff in the cryptocurrency markets.

Edited by Aoyon Ashraf.


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Stephen Alpher is CoinDesk's managing editor for Markets. He holds BTC above CoinDesk’s disclosure threshold of $1,000.

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