Coinbase Apologizes For Tying Meme Token ‘Pepecoin’ To Racist Symbols

Coinbase Apologizes For Tying Meme Token ‘Pepecoin’ To Racist Symbols

Coinbase, one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges, issued an apology for mistakenly listing a meme token called “Pepecoin” on its platform. The token was associated with the controversial “Pepe the Frog” meme, which has been used by far-right groups and neo-Nazis.

In a statement released on Twitter, Coinbase said it “mistakenly listed Pepecoin” and acknowledged the “offensive nature” of the Pepe the Frog meme. The company said it has removed the token from its platform and will conduct an internal review to prevent similar incidents from happening in the future.

The incident highlights the challenges faced by cryptocurrency exchanges in monitoring and regulating the tokens listed on their platforms. Meme tokens, which are often created as a joke or as a commentary on popular culture, have become increasingly popular in recent years. However, they can also be used to spread hateful or harmful messages.

Pepe the Frog, in particular, has become a symbol of the alt-right and white nationalism movements, despite its original creation as a harmless meme. In 2017, the Anti-Defamation League classified Pepe the Frog as a hate symbol.

Coinbase’s mistake also underscores the need for greater diversity and inclusion in the technology industry. The company’s lack of awareness about the connotations of the Pepe the Frog meme shows a lack of understanding of the issues faced by marginalized communities.

In response to the incident, Coinbase has pledged to donate $25,000 to the Anti-Defamation League and will match employee donations to organizations that promote diversity and inclusion in the technology industry.

Coinbase is not the only cryptocurrency exchange to face criticism for its handling of meme tokens. Binance, another major exchange, faced backlash in 2021 for listing a token called “Safemoon,” which was associated with a pyramid scheme. The incident led to renewed calls for greater regulation and oversight of the cryptocurrency industry.

As cryptocurrency becomes increasingly mainstream, it is important for companies to take responsibility for the tokens listed on their platforms and ensure they do not contribute to hate speech or harmful behavior. Coinbase’s apology and commitment to diversity and inclusion are important steps towards creating a more responsible and equitable cryptocurrency industry.

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