Hip-hop artist Kanye West made news over the last few days by coming out again in his support for President Trump. Although West has expressed this opinion publicly several times in the past, including a visit to Trump Tower and making a public service announcement at one of his concerts, the mainstream media is focused on whether West is mentally healthy because his politics do not conform with their expectations. Regardless of one’s thoughts on the current administration in the US, West deserves respect for sticking to his guns and exercising his right to free speech. While this media kerfuffle is entertaining, one tweet stood out to us in West’s stream of consciousness. A single word, “decentralize.”
— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) April 25, 2018
Digital asset influencers were quick to jump onto the cryptic tweet, hoping to get a bit more information out of Kanye, but to no avail. CoinDesk asked if the tweet pertained to Bitcoin specifically, while others spoke more generally about a decentralized economy and system of governance, or shilled their favorite coins.
Kanye West appears not to have addressed any of these specific questions yet. Will he? It’s entirely possible, and how he chooses to do so will determine how much value he gets out of his brand equity, and how much more he creates.
One direction would be for Mr. West to create “Kanye Coin” or perhaps to collaborate with his wife on “Kardashian Coin.” Millions of fans may buy into it, with the underlying value being the brand of this reality TV royal family, or perhaps a real utility. Whether the coin increases in value or not is less important than the idea that millions of people will be introduced to a decentralized economy that exists in parallel to, and sometimes intermixed with the fiat economy that presently rules over commerce throughout the world. As people become aware of this new option, they will no doubt research other coins and may even go on to utilize some of their digital assets to purchase physical goods and services. When that happens on a massive scale, the world will be transformed.
Another direction that West may choose would be to specifically mention Bitcoin or some other existing digital currency in a tweet. The end result would be similar to the first option. Millions of fans would probably buy into that coin, and we would be on our way to transforming the world, using his star power to gain buy-in from otherwise skeptical or uninformed people.
A third option would be to consider decentralization in everything we do. Cryptocurrency as a decentralized store and exchange of value is only the beginning. Decentralized government would be a bigger, yet still achievable goal if enough people change their mindsets. That journey may be long and difficult but there are plenty of stops along the way. Decentralized schools would give parents a choice in how they want their children to be educated, and would create competition so that the best schools that turn out the most successful students would survive, and the worst schools and least effective teachers and philosophies would practically disappear. Decentralized cars and modes of transportation would flourish in a sharing economy or one where you rent what you need when you need it. The possibilities are endless, and Dilbert creator and Neuro-Linguistic Programming expert, Scott Adams says that Kanye has freed people from their mental prisons, bringing them to “The Golden Age.”
— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) April 23, 2018
This isn’t the first time when Hip Hop intersected with the world of cryptocurrency. According to Forbes, back in 2014, hop hop pioneer Nas was an early investor in Coinbase, a company worth $1.6 billion, with 13 million users. Wu-Tang’s Ghostface Killah backed Cream Capital, a cryptocurrency firm, because “Cash Rules Everything Around Me.” The Game promoted the cannabis platform, Paragon, and the list goes on.
Kanye West is no doubt a controversial figure, and through controversy, he sparks discussion. In the case of decentralization, that discussion is healthy and potentially world-changing. We’ll keep an eye out for West’s next cryptic tweet.