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January 15, 2014

“You win, Kanye”: Coinye West cryptocurrency shuts down

A lawsuit filed by Kanye West sees the digital currency back down for good.

By Kate Heslop

Coinye West, a digital cryptocurrency named after the rapper Kanye West, has been forced to back down after legal pressure.

According to the New York Post, West issued the anonymous Coinye creators with a trademark-infringement lawsuit that would aim to ban the use of the digital currency.

The coders behind Coinye West hoped that the new cryptocurrency could rival Bitcoin, but gain more notoriety by using a play on Kanye West’s name and image, albeit without his permission.

Despite previous legal threats, Coinye West launched, but changed its logo and name after receiving a cease and desist letter. They dropped the ‘West’ from the name, changing it to CoinyeCoin and made the logo a less obvious image of Kanye West, but this time a half man, half fish, but still with a resemblance of the rapper.

The lawsuit filed in the Manhattan federal court by West and Mascotte Holdings says: "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. 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.’"

Creators of the digital currency took to their website to surrender, and officially end Coinye. They posted a message saying: "Coinye is dead. You win, Kanye."

It is not clear if West’s legal team will still plan to pursue their suit after the Coinye creators have backed down.

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