Meet Coinye West, the Kanye-inspired Bitcoin alternative for normal folk

The technology is designed to bring digital currency to the masses

Kanye West performs exclusively for Samsung Mobile fans at Galaxy Note II and Galaxy Camera U.S. launch.

Kanye West performs exclusively for Samsung Mobile fans at Galaxy Note II and Galaxy Camera U.S. launch.

When Kanye West [cq] wrote the lyric, "I'm chilling, trying to stack these millions," he probably did not mean digital currency. But a new technology might give him pause, or at least have him scratching his head.

In a sign that the frenzy over Bitcoin may have reached a new level of ridiculousness, there is now another phenomenon inspired by it: Coinye West, named after the American hip hop artist Kanye West.

Bitcoin is a new online technology designed as a currency to enable anonymous transactions over the Internet with little or no fees. Bitcoin mining involves pooling together the resources of computers over a network to solve mathematical problems that, theoretically, generate bitcoins as a reward. The software supporting the system is open source, so it has already spawned a number of alternative forms of the technology, such as Ripple, Litecoin and Colored Coins.

Coinye West, however, might be the first to be modeled after, and take its name from, a celebrity. "We chose Kanye because of his trendsetting abilities and his originality," the developers of the currency said via email. They declined to identify themselves due to the collaborative and "decentralized" nature of the currency.

West himself was not involved in developing the currency, and he was notified of its existence only via Twitter. But who knows how the artist might respond, given his previous claim that "I am Steve Jobs."

The currency will officially launch on Jan. 11, underpinned by a common-sense goal: To make digital currencies more accessible to a less technical audience. The Coinye West system, its developers said, will use a different algorithm from Bitcoin's that will let people use their home computers to acquire Coinye West coins instead of having to go out and buy expensive, specialized hardware.

The name of this mining software will be "Gold Digger," the developers said, presumably after the title of a popular song by West. "We want to bring cryptocurrency to the masses," they said, "so that anybody can get into mining with a couple of clicks."

The currency is also intended to support hip-hop-related e-commerce transactions. Some online merchants have already contacted the currency's founders asking how they can accept it as money, the founders said.

Making digital currencies like Bitcoin more accessible to a less technical audience may be a good marketing strategy, given the complexity and strangeness of it all. Describing how Bitcoin works is not easy, and a good number of people still don't even know what it is. Apart from the currency itself -- and some experts say it's not even a currency -- there are a range of ancillary services such as exchanges, payment processors and so-called wallets to understand.

While libertarians, venture capitalists and others have enthusiastically embraced Bitcoin and other digital currencies, governments and financial regulators are still not quite sure what to make of them. In recent weeks, authorities in New Zealand, Denmark and the European Union have issued warnings against the technology, which might threaten its viability. In the U.S., federal officials have offered cautionary support for it.

The developers of Coinye West, however, don't seem concerned. They dismissed the government's growing interest in digital currency and used an expletive to indicate their lack of concern for law enforcement.

Zach Miners covers social networking, search and general technology news for IDG News Service. Follow Zach on Twitter at @zachminers. Zach's e-mail address is zach_miners@idg.com

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Internet-based applications and servicesCoinYe Weste-commerceNetworkingBitcoin Foundationmobileinternet

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Zach Miners

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?