Kanye West and Crypto: a Tale of Failure

Kanye West and Crypto: a Tale of Failure


Explore the intriguing journey of Kanye West in the world of cryptocurrency. From the Coinye controversy to the YZY token hype, discover how Kanye's crypto journey has been anything but ordinary.

When it comes to crypto, it's not just tech moguls and financial tycoons who are making waves. Hollywood celebrities, with their massive influence, have also been making their entrance in the crypto community. From investing in Non-Fungible Token (NFT) collections like the Bored Apes Yacht Club to pouring millions into metaverse projects, these stars are not just spectators but active participants in the crypto revolution.

When a celebrity endorses a cryptocurrency project, hordes of new investors flock to get a share of the action. Remember the frenzy when Elon Musk tweeted about Shiba Inu and Dogecoin? Those tweets sparked massive bull runs for both cryptocurrencies, demonstrating the power of celebrity influence in this sphere.

Snoop Dogg stands out as a true crypto connoisseur among high profile celebrities. He was one of the first stars to hop on the crypto train. Having invested millions in various NFT collections and a track record of supporting emerging artists through digital currency and NFT donations, Snoop Dogg is not just a participant but an advocate for the crypto world. He's even advocating the integration of NFT technology into the music industry and contributing to numerous crypto projects.

However, not all celebrities have had a smooth ride in the crypto universe. Some, like the notorious rapper Kanye West, have found themselves in the midst of controversies. Kanye West got into the crypto world long before it became a hot topic. Kanye's crypto journey was marked by legal battles and missteps rather than trendsetting triumphs.

So, buckle up as we delve into the intriguing saga of Kanye West and his ill-fated cryptocurrency venture. We’ll start with the infamous Coinye, a cryptocurrency that was once upon a time, known as "Coinye West."

Coinye West – First Attempt to Get Kanye in the Crypto Saga

The creators of Coinye, who preferred to remain anonymous due to the "decentralized" nature of the currency, were inspired by none other than Kanye West himself. They admired his trendsetting abilities and originality, and thought, "Why not make a fun and simple altcoin for the hip-hop community?" So, they did just that.

Late in 2013, the creators started hyping up Coinye on Twitter and online forums. They even tried to get Kanye's attention on New Year's Eve, hoping to get him on board. In an anonymous interview, one of them said, "We hope he loves it, but if he doesn't, he really isn't someone we want to piss off." Well, spoiler alert: Kanye was actually pretty pissed off.

The idea behind Coinye was to create a "cryptocurrency for the masses". The creators wanted to make a user-friendly version of Bitcoin, with a familiar face to make it more relatable. They envisioned a world where fans could buy concert tickets with cryptographically verified virtual tickets using Coinye. The mining software was even named "Gold Digger", after one of Kanye's popular songs. The goal was to make cryptocurrency so simple that anyone could get into mining with just a few clicks.

However, Kanye West, not thrilled about having a digital currency bearing his name and likeness, threatened to sue the coders. His lawyers filed a cease-and-desist order, claiming trademark infringement. They argued that Coinye was too similar to Kanye West in sight, sound, meaning, and commercial impression, and that it could mislead consumers into thinking that Kanye was somehow affiliated with the cryptocurrency.

But the Coinye creators were not easily deterred. They simply added a fishtail to the logo of West's face, dropped the 'West' from the name, and launched their website and currency a few days early. The new logo was a less obvious image of Kanye West, but this time a half man, half fish, bearing a striking resemblance to the rapper. This was likely a cheeky nod to the South Park "Fishsticks" episode aired in 2009, in which in which West failed to understand why people were jokingly calling him a "gay fish."

Source and Copyright © Youtube/South Park Studios

Despite their efforts to keep Coinye afloat, the tide turned against them. Kanye West won the infringement lawsuit, and the creators of Coinye had to wave the white flag. They took to their website to officially end Coinye, posting a message saying: "Coinye is dead. You win, Kanye."

YZY token – Kanye and Crypto 10 Years After 

Fast forward nearly a decade, and cryptocurrency has become an integral part of our lives, transforming the financial world and beyond. And it seems Kanye West has had a change of heart about crypto. In fact, he's now a vocal advocate of decentralized finance, proclaiming that cryptocurrencies represent the "True liberation of America".

Despite the Coinye debacle, fans haven't lost hope in Kanye's potential to make a mark in the crypto world. In 2022, an anonymous founder launched an Ethereum coin named YZY token, featuring an illustration of the rapper's face.

The founder drummed up excitement for the YZY token on Telegram, encouraging users to buy the coin and spread the word to boost its value. Crypto enthusiasts were buzzing with anticipation, convinced that Kanye West would officially join the crypto community soon.

YZY supporters were particularly thrilled about West's fallout with traditional banking institution JP Morgan. For reference, institution JP Morgan closed Kanye’s bank account following rapper’s antisemitic statements and him wearing  wearing a tshirt that said “White Lives Matter.” 

They believed this made his official endorsement of the alternative crypto space inevitable. In 2020, West expressed his admiration for the "geniuses" in the Bitcoin and cryptocurrency communities on the Joe Rogan podcast, stating that they "really have a perspective on what the true liberation of America and humanity will be."

Adding fuel to the fire, West was spotted wearing a Satoshi Nakamoto hat shortly after reports that JPMorgan canceled his bank account.   West was complaining “I put $140 million into JPMorgan and they treated me like shit.”

For those not in the know, Nakamoto is the founder of Bitcoin. This seemed like a clear sign of his endorsement of the crypto world.

However, despite all the hype and hope, YZY didn't turn out to be the hit everyone was expecting and Kanye didn’t react to the token launch. It faded into obscurity a year after its launch. 

Kanye West, bro, what's next?

Kanye West had all the makings of a trendsetter. With his global fame and influence, he could have been a figurehead in the crypto community, making headlines and setting trends just like Elon Musk does today. He had the platform, the influence, and the creative genius to make a significant impact.

However, instead of embracing the opportunities that came his way, Kanye seemed to be out of sync with the times. He was dismissive of projects associated with him, like Coinye and YZY token, and didn't fully grasp the potential of these ventures. He missed the chance to ride the wave of crypto enthusiasm that was sweeping the globe.

But as the saying goes, it's never too late. Kanye has since shown a change of heart towards cryptocurrency, advocating for decentralized finance and recognizing its potential as the "True liberation of America." This shift in perspective suggests that he's beginning to understand the transformative power of digital currencies.

We asked Kanye on Twitter what his next crypto project would be. He hasn't answered yet (maybe because he's been banned), but the whole crypto world is holding its breath waiting for the artist's next crypto move.

So, while Kanye may have missed the initial crypto boom, he still has the chance to catch up. Kanye can harness his creative energy and channel it into the crypto sphere, he might yet become the trendsetter he was poised to be.

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