Kanye West’s Legal Team Take Down Spoof ‘Coinye’ Altcoin

(@pete_rizzo_) | Published on January 15, 2014 at 18:17 BST

Just days after Chicago rapper Kanye West dispatched his legal team against the creators of the script-based cryptocurrency Coinye, formerly Coinye West, the altcoin’s development team has officially folded its launch plans.

The announcement was issued via the project’s website, which posted the message “COINYE IS DEAD” in bold at the top of its homepage, followed by its admission of defeat: “You win, Kayne.” The messages ended the short life of Coinye, which was announced early this January and had recently delayed its launch.

West’s legal team previously sent the Coinye development team a cease-and-desist letter that suggested that the altcoin’s branding, featuring a cartoon image of the rapper, created a likelihood of confusion that would lead buyers to believe West was affiliated with the project.

In response, Coinye’s team altered its design in homage to the South Park episode “Fishsticks,” in which West realizes he is a gay fish. The tongue-in-cheek letter requested that West’s lawyers stop the “constant harassment and scare tactics” and called into question the applicability of West’s trademarks in the case.

Still, while the debate amused observers, the currency’s abrupt decision to close affected some users. Reddit comments suggest that Coinye’s development team had begun to unload the currency in preparation for the formal shutdown. Further, threads noted that users had difficulty obtaining their coynes in the aftermath of that announcement.

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0DayCoins, a cryptocurrency exchange that listed Coinye, moved quickly to apologize for its association with the currency and announce that it, too, is shutting down.

“If Mr. Kanye West feels offended in any way, we want to express our sincere apology,” a website message read. “It was never our intention, and so, starting today, we are working on removing any trace of the coin from our platform. We hope this will satisfy Mr. West and resolve this unfortunate matter.”

The website encouraged users to collect their funds from the site immediately, stating that the remaining coynes would “be sent to random public keys.”

Undeterred, some Reddit and Bitcoin Talk forum users have refused to give up on Coinye, with rumors that a petition would be sent to Cryptsy to list the altcoin.

The Coinye development team has sinced moved to distance itself from these parties, or as they labeled them, the “morons trying to revive this coin,” suggesting such actions were based solely on cashing in on Coinye’s notoriety.

Though notable, Coinye is just one in a string of novelty altcoins launched in recent weeks including RonPaulCoin, named after the noted U.S. libertarian-leaning politician, and Dogecoin, an altcoin dedicated to a popular Internet meme.

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