Although Kanye West says he's going to keep a lower profile this year, the streets won't let him chill. Reports of a new type of digital currency featuring the likeness of the mercurial artist surfaced last week, but it appears West's legal team leaped into action to put a stop to the production of the Coinye cryptocurrency.
The Wall Street Journal writes that West's lawyers filed cease-and-desist papers against the seven unknown programmers behind the virtual currency's creation, citing trademark infringement as the chief offense.
“Given Mr. West's wide-ranging entrepreneurial accomplishments, consumers are likely to mistakenly believe that Mr. West is the source of your services,” wrote Brad Rose, a partner at Pryor Cashman LLP, which has previously worked for West.
Hoping to keep pace with the self-assured, brash West, the techies aren't backing down. Instead, they are moving up Coinye's release date to as early as Tuesday night. Looking for surer footing, they changed the name of the currency from Coinye West to just “Coinye” and moved their website from a .com domain name to one registered in India.
WSJ learned that the coders are beating the legal rush, and they seemingly aren't worried about the pressure from Yeezy's attorneys as evidenced by the site's launch on Tuesday (January 7).
“We want to release this to the public before the man can try to crush it,” said one of the coders in a Skype interview with the publication. “They'll still come after us, but that's OK.”
Although the Coinye West currency began as a nerdy joke, it appears that the publicity around the matter could gain the virtual money some value with the cryptocurrency community.
Would Yeezus be cool with it if the creators allowed him to buy in on the Coinye concept? Hit the jump to see the Coinye website's front page image as well.