Kanye West may have missed a huge opportunity by suing the cryptocurrency that adopted him as their mascot now that Dogecoin has raised over $30,000 to give water to Kenyan’s. His lawsuit against the creators, whose identities he very recently discovered, stopped the alternative coin’s progress very quickly. Meanwhile, the Bitcoin-esque alternative currency named after an Internet meme has sent a Jamaican bobsled team to the Sochi Olympics, raised money for children with disabilities to receive service animals and helps pay vet bills for real Shiba Inu owners.
The creators were hopeful that Kanye would be as excited as they were. They saw him as a “trendsetter” and adopted his face on their coin because they believed he always kept things “unique.” The idea behind the coin’s creation was clever enough to have potential. “Coinye West is a cryptocurrency for the masses,” they said as they pointed out that Bitcoin was for the “hardcore” and technology minded users, while Dogecoin was “more for the internet-meme crowds.”
While mining is not exactly the “dark art” that they considered it to be, it certainly is over most people’s heads and the computer power required does mean Bitcoin mining is not for the average Internet user. Since their goal was creating a user-friendly online currency, it is easy to wonder what Coinye could have achieved if Kanye had not shut it down.
In January the “trendsetter” hip-hop artist sued the developers and claimed they were violating his publicity rights and trademarks. The original lawsuit was towards the anonymous defendants but has now been updated to include the creators and even details how far the currency has spread. The new listed defendants are located in the US, New Zealand, UK, Slovakia and China. Kanye still believes that his reputation is being damaged beyond repair every day that the currency continues existing.
Kanye’s suit against his cryptocurrency is likely worse for his reputation than letting them become known for something like raising $30,000 for Kenya such as Dogecoin has. After all, Dogecoin is just a light-hearted meme-based offshoot of Bitcoin. However, it just made history by sending the largest donation ever made via tweet.
Dogecoin, second most popular digital currency after Bitcoin, has always had a philanthropist vibe. It is commonly used to tip people for the content they add online, with Dogetipbot managing transactions on Reddit, and TipDoge on Twitter. The price is kept artificially low in order to promote the tipping nature of the coin.
Doge4Water is a fundraiser designed to give water to those in developing countries where the lack of sanitation creates diseases in the population that kill more people than war. Paul Young, Director of Digital for charity water, admitted it was among the most inventive campaigns they had ever seen. Young explained that it started with a tweet, invoked the Dogecoin passionate users of Reddit who also made many donations, and finally fulfilled the goal with the tweet that sent over $10,000 through 140 characters.
Inspired by the goal of building new wells in Kenya, @savethemhood, sent the 14 million Dogecoin tip in a tweet and added, “May we all drink water. Let the wealthy fill your cup.” The donor has since managed to remain anonymous. “It is astonishing that we have fellow humans on this planet without water,” another tweet read. “We have wealth but not the will. The greedy do nothing…” Dogecoin is only worth around $.00080 but it has still made a big impact on charities that the community believes in.
Coinye never had the opportunity to grow, create its own Internet culture or find its own catch phrases like Dogecoin did. As the doge meme fans created a culture of “wow. such currency. so crypto,” it would have been interesting to see Kanye fans find their own footing in the digital money industry. Instead, the cryptocurrency lawsuit continues while Kanye misses the opportunity for a reputation boost, like Dogecoin raising $30,000 for Kenya, could have given him.
In response to one of Kanye’s letters, Ian Craig, allegedly behind the creation of coinyecasino.com, apparently told Kanye’s attorneys that the website had its own demands. There would be no further action until Kanye publishes a video and “he kindly asks us to remove the roulette wheel” based upon proof of insult, personality damages, or inconveniences. Perhaps Coinye West could have been a tipping currency as well, since Craig was also charitable enough to allegedly offer lawyers, “some house credit for free roulette spins.”
By: Whitney Hudson