By Scott T. Sterling
When we first reported on “Coinye West,” a fledgling digital currency based on Kanye West that hopes to compete with the much-discussed Bitcoin, the founders of the company were appropriately wary of how the Yeezus rapper might respond to their idea.
“We’re really not sure how Kanye is gonna react to this,” they told Noisey.com, maintaining anonymity in case West wasn’t into their proposed currency. “We hope he loves it, but if he doesn’t, he really isn’t someone we want to piss off.”
Well, their fears were not unfounded, as the Wall Street Journal reports that lawyers representing West have issued a cease and desist order to the seven people behind the project, citing trademark infringement.
“Given Mr. West’s wide-ranging entrepreneurial accomplishments, consumers are likely to mistakenly believe that Mr. West is the source of your services,” attorney Brad Rose said in the lawsuit.
Instead of backing down, the coders behind “Coinye West” have chosen to carry on, changing the name of the digital currency from “Coinye West” to just “Coinye,” moving the web domain registration to India and pushing up the launch date to as soon as tonight (Jan. 7).
“We want to release this to the public before the man can try to crush it,” one of the company founders told WSJ. “They’ll still come after us, but that’s OK.”
Originally hoping to get West on board by offering him 100,000 in “Coinye West” currency, the appeal obviously fell flat, but the coders trying to make it happen feel it’s just too good of a concept to simply walk away.
“We chose to represent Kanye because he is and always has been a trendsetter, and he’s always keeping things unique,” one of their representatives initially told Noisey. “I can picture a future where Coinye is used to buy concert tickets, with cryptographically verified virtual tickets, and other ideas I can’t give away just yet.”
While he lawyers set about shutting down all things “Coinye,” the rapper has announced a new leg of his controversial (and immensely popular) Yeezus tour, adding a string of dates long the eastern coast of America and Canada (see the new concert dates here).