A Bitcoin spinoff known as Mazacoin has been adopted by a confederation of seven Native American tribes as their national currency. The Oglala Lakota Nation has expressed hope that it will draw the tribes out of poverty.
“I think crypto-currencies could be the new buffalo,” head of the Lakota Nation, Payu Harris, told Forbes. “Once, it was everything for our survival. We used it for food, for clothes, for everything. It was our economy. I think MazaCoin could serve the same purpose.”
Members of the tribe included Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse – famous for their role in the Battle of Little Bighorn, during which they were key in securing a victory over General George Armstrong Custer.
“We have to be forward-thinking,” Harris clarified.
The coin styles itself on its website as creating an “economic foundation upon which the Traditional Lakota Nation can build lasting wealth and prosperity for their people.”
“MazaCoin will take its place in the world of Crypto-Currency as a solid Alt Coin backed by the unique legacy of an ancient culture and nation,” it adds.
Mazzacoin is a branch or “fork” of a Bitcoin derivative called ‘ZetaCoin’. However, it remains one of an ever-growing market of alt-coins fighting to establish themselves.
“Just like debit cards, it will take a while for people to get it,” Harris astated. “But once people understood the new cards, they began to accept them. The same will happen with MazaCoin.”
He added that an educational campaign has already been launched demonstrate to the Lakota how to mine the currency.
In preparation, the nation has mined some 25 million MazaCois to be utilized as a national reserve of sorts. A further 25 million are on standby for a Tribal Trust – a collective which will issue grants to tribe members or support local businesses. A handful have already agreed to start using the coin.
The FBI has already allegedly contacted Harris to discuss the proposals to immerse themselves in the crypto-currency, apparently having reminded him that cryto-currencies are not considered legal tender in the US, currently. Harris has dismissed the warnings.