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Tolkien Estate Shuts Down Lord Of The Rings Cryptocurrency

Tolkien Estate Shuts Down Lord Of The Rings Cryptocurrency

The creators' lawyers tried to say it was "generic" enough to avoid infringement.

You know the JRR Token? A cryptocurrency that played on the name of the author of The Lord of the Rings and aimed to become the "The One Token That Rules Them All"? It’s flown far too close to the sun and has been squashed by the Tolkien estate. 

The cryptocurrency even got an endorsement from actor Billy Boyd, who plays Peregrin "Pippin" Took in the series of films, though that didn’t do much to convince fans to be on board. There’s the whole erraticness of cryptocurrency and their propensity to surge and plummet in value as well as the themes of the books contrasting with the very concept of cryptocurrency. 

Check out the trailer for The Lord of the Rings: Gollum below!

If you aren’t in the know, you might be surprised to learn that this sort of fiat currency has a huge impact on the environment. A report from earlier this year found that bitcoin generates 36.95 megatons of carbon dioxide every year which roughly matches the annual output of New Zealand. Yeah, it’s on the same scale as an entire country. Furthermore, expensive GPUs are often the method of choice for proponents to mine as much crypto as possible. This is an intensive use for the component and causes them to conk out much earlier than their lifespan would allow otherwise. 

Environmental themes are present in the books, with the people of the Shire living in tune with the capabilities of the land and the beauty of Lothlórien, for example. There is literally a scene in The Lord of the Rings where the Ents fight Saruman’s forces for the devastation that the Orcs’ mines have done to their home.

So, in short, the JRR Token wasn’t a good look. The Tolkien estate agreed, and issued a complaint against the creators through the World Intellectual Property Organisation (thanks, Financial Times). In turn, the creators’ lawyers argued that “token” was a generic term and therefore does not infringe any intellectual property. 

Ultimately, the administrative panel concluded that the choice of name was intentional as there was no way that the creators were not “aware of Tolkien’s works” and that they had “created a website to trade off the fame of these works.” Now, the domain name is now in the hands of the estate and all references to JRR Token must be scrubbed from the Internet.  

Featured Image Credit: New Line Cinema

Topics: The Lord Of The Rings