Kanye West puts an end to the cryptocurrency which drew on him as inspiration, Coinye, with a new lawsuit.
A legal beef has been brewing between Kanye West and the creators of a new cryptocurrency named after, and inspired by, Mr. West, Coinye. The new currency was meant to rival Bitcoin and Dogecoin currencies, which are all forms of digital exchange-- basically peers can use the digital currency for various transactions on the internet, and the coin only exists as a computer code, there are no physical forms of it.
Coinye first launched with an image of Kanye West wearing shutter shades on their coins, however when 'Ye's lawyers got wind they sent out a cease & desist letter to the Coinye creators. The creators responded by changing the image of the coin, going with the South Park joke of a gay fish, they turned the image on their coin into a fish-version of Kanye (still sporting shutter shades).
When the creators (who have remained anonymous) found out Kanye was taking legal action, they attempted to release the new form of currency early last week. However, now the Coinye coders have officially given up, with a new trademark infringement lawsuit filed by Kanye naming Coinye and Amazon.
"Defendants have willfully and admittedly traded upon the goodwill and notoriety of Kanye West, one of the most famous entertainers and brand names in the world," the suit reads, which was filed in Manhattan federal court by Kanye and his company Mascotte Holdings. "Without hesitation, defendants have usurped Mr. West’s name and likeness for the sole purpose of propping up the perceived ‘value’ of the defendants’ ‘digital coin mine’ and its ‘cryptocurrency.’"
The suit continued, "Consumers are likely to mistakenly believe that Mr. West is the source of these digital coins."
Coinye's website has now been taken down, and they've released the message "COINYE IS DEAD. You win, Kanye."
[UPDATE: Coinye Is Back Up & Running Despite Lawsuit]
As we reported yesterday, it seemed as though the new form of digital currency, inspired by Kanye West, Coinye, would be defunct before it really had a chance to spread because of a new lawsuit from Mr. West. Coinye announced on their website, "COINYE IS DEAD. You win, Kanye."
Today, it seems they've had a change of heart. Their website is up and running, with a new message."Contrary to popular media opinion, we are not dead," the message on the homepage reads. "We are working hard to bring you some exciting new additions!"
They also distance themselves from Kanye West, stating,
"Is Kanye [West] involved?” the site’s message continues. "Absolutely not! We would like to make it clear that we are entirely independent of the man, and there should be no confusion as to the intent or origin of this project. The name ‘Coinye' is intended solely as parody, not an indication or implication of endorsement or involvement."
We'll have to see what 'Ye's next step will be if he wants to continue to pursue the cryptocurrency Coinye.