News Column

Coinye, Johnny Cashback, 50 Cent Cents: Which Celebrities Should Have Their Own Cryptocurrencies?

January 10, 2014

Rhik Samadder,

bitcoin coinye
When Kanye West protested, Coinye responded with an in-your-face-fatboy remake of its image (file photo)

Kanye West has reached the stage of celebrity where he has simply too much cash with his name on it. The launch of a new cryptocurrency called Coinye was hastily fast-tracked this week, after a predictable backlash from the rapper's lawyers, who claim the Bitcoin alternative is an infringement of West's trademark.Coinye's creators responded to the legal team's demands in the most middle-finger way possible, by changing the chiselled image of his face on the coin to that of a cartoon fish in grilled sunglasses, with silly hair. The coin is now available, proliferating over peer to peer networks beyond the reach of the law.

But aside from Kanye's run-in with the money makers, there are other artists who seem much more willing to embrace the exchange: in December, rap kingpin Snoop Dogg tweeted that his new album would be "available in Bitcoin and delivered in a drone" and none other than Mel B announced that she would be teaming up with Bitcoin mining service for her new single, thus raising the prospect of more experiments in radical alternative currencies inspired or created by musicians.

So which other musicians could get in on the game? Here are some potential currencies that are definitely not happening, but probably should.

A System of Counting Crows

Named after "not-actual" creators System of a Down and Counting Crows' Adam Duritz, this rollback of capitalism is based on the numeration of birds in the crow family – including rooks, choughs and nutcrackers. It'll be much like trading cows or sheep, although personal wealth will be subject to extreme volatility, as unlike cows, crows have a tendency to fly away. Always in a straight line, apparently.

Lady Sovereigns

Modern feminism has taught us that women must be valued. Would it be so very wrong to express that value in sovereigns – an old, gold coin of the realm? Ladies of prominence like Beyoncé and Ellie Goulding would be worth more of course, all the way up to the Queen – the National Sovereign. Wait a moment, is this objectifying system not the very one we use now? #satire.

50 Cent Cents

Fairly self-explanatory. The advantage of adopting 50 CentCents as a unit of currency is that we already understand how dollars and cents work. Mind you, 50 Cent is apparently worth $260m. So a dollar in the new system would be twice that, $520m. Which means 50 Cent's net worth in the new system is actually 260 million multiplied by 520 million. According to this calculator that's 1.352e+17, a number I've never seen. So what does that make 50 Cents cents worth? Okay, maybe it's not self explanatory.


Under the Nickelback fiscal system, for every nickel you spend, you get a nickel back. Every transaction nullifies itself, for money is nothing but a global pantomime.

Johnny Cash

Imagine hearing: "Your plastic's no good here. This is a Johnny Cash joint." That's a cool phrase, right? Exactly. Alt currencies need to be popular to be viable, and there's nobody we'd rather get us out of the red than the man in black. Plus, who wouldn't give anything to have Johnny Cashback?

Have you got any other suggestions? Let us know in the comments below.

(c) 2014 Guardian Newspapers Limited.

Original headline: Cryptocurrency: which musicians should coin their own cash?

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Source: (c) 2014 Guardian Newspapers Limited.

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