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 newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags Internet-based applications and servicesCoinYe Weste-commerceNetworkingBitcoin Foundationmobileinternet

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

Cool Tech

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?