Coinye crypto-currency
The creators of Coinye have been requested to stop by Kanye West lawyers.

Lawyers representing Kanye West have filed a cease-and-desist order against the creators of Coinye West, a crypto-currency similar to bitcoin.

Due to be launched on 11 January, the currency was developed as interest in decentralised crypto-currencies bitcoin and the cheaper litecoin reached new highs.

The legal document, dated 6 January, includes an image of the Coinye currency, which features a cartoon representation of the hip-hop artists and record producer; it is argued that this image infringes on West's trademark.

Addressing the creators of Coinye, letter reads: "Given Mr. West's wide-ranging entrepreneurial accomplishments, consumers are likely to mistakenly believe that Mr. West is the source of your services."

In response to the legal challenge, the currency's creators are looking to move its launch forward, possibly to as early as 7 January. Speaking to the Wall Street Journal over Skype instant messaging, one of the currency's coders said: "We want to release this it the public before the man car try to crush it. They'll still come after us, but that's OK."

The cease-and-desist document requests that the creators of Coinye stop using the name, or a variation of it, hand over their website and deactivate the associated Facebook and Twitter accounts for Coinye.

In an attempt to out-maneuver West's legal team, the creators of Coinye have altered the cartoon image, dropped the 'West' from its name and moved their website from a .com domain to one registered in India.

The newly located site states: "Due to legal pressure, we will be launching today January 7, at 7:00pm, Pacific Standard Time." This is 3am, 8 January in the UK.

A Twitter account for Coinye tweeted: "Who gon stop me huh? Coinye feelin' the heat, gonna spread what we got so far before the bigwigs steal our work."

We wonder if Koindashian will be next.

For much of 2013, bitcoin and litecoin were the only crypto-currencies publicised by the media, but they were joined in December by Dogecoin, which features a dog on a gold coin as its symbol and is based on the Doge internet meme.

In early January, veteran bitcoin developer Matt Corallo created, a site letting any visitor create their own version of bitcoin and calling it whatever they want. The cost of creating a new virtual currency is 0.01 bitcoins, or around $10.

Once created, coins for the new currency can be mined by computers solving mathematical equations, just as bitcoin is mined - however, the value of these coins is likely to remain incredibly low compared to five-year-old bitcoin, which currently trades for around $1,000 per coin.