Bitcoin Smackdown: Kanye vs. Coinye

coinyeannounceLook for the launch of Coinye, a Bitcoin wannabe, to be moved up from the planned January 11, 2014 release date to as soon as 7 PM PST today, January 7. Unless Kanye West ruins the fun and succeeds in suppressing Coinye, that is. The Wall Street Journal reports on his legal foray thus far:

Lawyers for Kanye West filed cease-and-desist papers against the seven anonymous coders behind Coinye West, a virtual currency that went from chatroom joke to Internet sensation last week.

The legal document, dated Jan. 6, includes an image of Coinye – a cartoon representation of West on a gold medallion. West’s lawyer argues 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,” 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.

“We want to release this to the public before the man can try to crush it,” one of the coders said in a Skype text interview Monday night. “They’ll still come after us, but that’s OK.”

So, how did the world-famous rapper get in a legal feud with seven nerds who refuse to share their names or locations?

As virtual currencies like bitcoin and litecoin have taken off, copycats have emerged. Some offer slight tweaks to the bitcoin code to account for fraudsters or improve transactions. Others, such as BBQcoin and dogecoin, appear more as jokes than legitimate crypto-currencies…

[continues at the Wall Street Journal]

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  • InfvoCuernos

    You would think that king-sized ego would like having his likeness on coins.

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