'Coinye West is dead. You win Kanye': Virtual currency creators shut down website

  • @mariatad

A virtual currency that declared itself inspired by Kanye West has shut down after the rapper filed a trademark infringement lawsuit against its creators.

The lawsuit filed in a Manhattan federal court sought to stop Bitcoin-like Coinye West on the grounds that it used the rapper's image to cash in on his popularity without his consent, damaging his reputation and confusing consumers about the source of the cryptocurrency.

Facing legal action, the anonymous creators of Coinye, which features a cartoon fish wearing Mr West's signature shutter shades as their logo, have backed down.

A message posted on its website said: "Coinye is dead. You win Kanye".

Coinye's creators received a cease-and-desist letter on 6 January from Mr West's lawyers citing trademark infringement, trademark dilution, unfair competition and cyberpiracy, but ignored the warning and launched 4 days earlier than originally intended.

They offered the controversial star 100,000 Coinye ahead of the launch under the slogan "WE AIN’T MININ’, WE PICKIN".

Asked if they feared Mr West's response to the bling-bling stunt, the creators claimed that the rapper, known for his short temper and leather jogging pants, would love to "have a currency in his honour",  but admitted that the Grammy winner isn't someone you would want to mess with.

Based on Mr West's reaction, it seems that their efforts were in vain.