Kanye West is not into crypto-currency. When a group of seven anonymous programmers recently announced that they would be launching Coinye, a Bitcoin cloned named for the rapper, West’s lawyers jumped into action and issued a cease-and-desist letter yesterday, arguing that the currency is trademark infringement. But it looks like it’s way too late—Coinye is going to launch today.
Ye’s lawyers complain that Coinye is deliberately confusing its users. “Given Mr. West’s wide-ranging entrepreneurial accomplishments, consumers are likely to mistakenly believe that Mr. West is the source of your services,” read the letter. That confusion could benefit Coinye’s programmers, who will likely hold a majority of the currency and profit if Coinye were to suddenly go viral, gaining real-world value.
The success of crypto-currencies is based on popularity: the more people using a currency, the more its value rises. One reason Bitcoin’s price is back hovering around $1000 is…
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