Kanye West is many things. He’s the man behind 2013’s Album of the Year, an artist prone to ridiculous self-comparisons, a creative partner with Adidas, a pop-up shop entrepreneur, a god, and soon, he’ll be a kind of virtual currency. On January 11, the world will see the launch of Coinye West, a cryptocurrency based on, but unofficially affiliated with, Yeezus himself.
As Noisey points out, Coinye West follows a number of other online-based, peer-to-peer forms of payment, including Bitcoin, Ripple, Litecoin, Peercoin, and the meme-mining Dogecoin. The makers of Coinye hope, though, that their digital dollars will be more widely accepted by the public. “Coinye West is a cryptocurrency for the masses,” the minters told Noisey in an email exchange (they’re hiding behind anonymity for now, in case Mr. West doesn’t approve of the appropriation). “Bitcoin is for hardcore money-hoarders, and Dogecoin was more for the internet-meme crowds… Our goal with Coinye West is to make it easier for people to use cryptocurrency.”
But why settle on Kanye’s mug and not that of another, more palatable, beef-averse icon? “We chose to represent Kanye because he is and always has been a trendsetter, and he’s always keeping things unique,” the Coinye point person explains. “I can picture a future where Coinye is used to buy concert tickets, with cryptographically verified virtual tickets, and other ideas I can’t give away just yet.”
So far, the forces behind Coinye have launched a Twitter account and website with the promise of “No premine, no screwed up fake ‘fair’ launches, shyster devs, muted channels, and f**ked up wallets.” For more technical details, visit the project’s official site.
Coinye West drops on January 11 at 11 p.m. EST. Until then, remember the Coinye makers’ mantra: “IN YEEZUS WE TRUST.”