Beware of Pepe the Frog Memecoins: Copyright Issues Could Put Your Investment at Risk

Investing in Pepe memecoins holds serious financial risks, as copyright issues threaten the future of these tokens.

Pepe the Frog sad in a swamp, as Pepe tokens are floating around him.
  • One Pepe token surged 21,000% within three days of its launch.
  • Pepe the Frog’s creator Matt Furie is not a fan of crypto. 
  • Furie already filed legal action against a similar project. 

Pepe the Frog, an internet meme created by artist Matt Furie, has been a recurring theme in the world of crypto.  

Recently, the rise of Pepe tokens has been making headlines, but potential investors should be cautious. Furie does not necessarily approve of these tokens and has the power to strike them down. 

On Sunday, unknown creators unveiled the Pepe token (PEPE), which surged 21,000% within just three days of its launch. The coin saw over $30 million in trading volume on Uniswap and reached $46 million in market cap by Tuesday. 

Despite this staggering growth, there is little to back up PEPE’s astronomical value. The token does not own the art on its website and the icon and has no utility or roadmap. 

Worse, Pepe’s creator Matt Furie is not a fan of its character’s use in blockchain-based projects. The artist has used his copyright to go after Pepe-themed projects before. 

In August 2021, Furie took down a $4 million Pepe-themed NFT collection from OpenSea. After Furie filed a Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) takedown request, OpenSea took down the Sad Frogs collection. 

As in the earlier case, Furie has several legal avenues to come after the Pepe token. The artist has the ability to issue DMCA takedown requests to exchanges and the Pepe website. He can also take legal action against the creators of the Pepe token. 

“Completely Useless” Coin: PEPE Website

Pepe token’s website acknowledges that $PEPE has no relation with the original Pepe the Frog meme or Matt Furie. The website also urges potential investors not to expect financial returns from it. 

“$PEPE is a meme coin with no intrinsic value or expectation of financial return,” the website’s disclaimer writes. “There is no formal team or roadmap. the coin is completely useless and for entertainment purposes only,” the disclaimer continues.  

But at least some of the twelve thousand PEPE holders are in it for the promise of financial returns.

“We might even see $100m today judging by the rate it’s growing so far,” one user wrote on Twitter. “Got a feeling PEPE will be listed on multiple T1 exchanges by the weekend,” they added. 

Potential legal action could put these hopes to rest, which would also hurt users that decided to invest in the token. 

On the Flipside

  • In January 2022, Trump’s family threatened legal action against Trumpcoin, which capitalized on the popularity of the former President. Despite the legal threat, the coin is still trading on major exchanges. 
  • In February 2023, self-proclaimed Bitcoin founder Craig Wright lost a copyright case over Bitcoin. A UK Judge found that Wright failed to demonstrate that he was the original creator of Bitcoin. 

Why You Should Care

Crypto investors should be aware of all the potential risks of the PEPE token before deciding whether to invest in it. 

Read about another memecoin, Shiba Inu:

Shiba Inu Coin: Evolving Blockchain Ecosystem or Glorified Meme Coin?

Read about Bybit’s expansion into the Middle East:

Bybit Moves HQ to Dubai World Trade Center

This article is for information purposes only and should not be considered trading or investment advice. Nothing herein shall be construed as financial, legal, or tax advice. Trading forex, cryptocurrencies, and CFDs pose a considerable risk of loss.

David Marsanic

David Marsanic is a journalist for DailyCoin who covers the intersection of crypto, traditional finance, and government. He focuses on institutionalized crypto entities like major cryptocurrency exchanges and Solana, breaking down complex topics into easy-to-understand writing. David's prior experience as a business journalist at various crypto and traditional news sites has enabled him to maintain a critical approach to news while adhering to high journalistic integrity standards.