Mazacoin was developed by the BTC Oyate Initiative, under the direction of Payu Harris, a Native American activist, web developer, and digital currency trader who has traced his ancestry to the Northern Cheyenne tribe. Harris hopes that the currency will give Oglala Lakota Nation (name of the tribe) level of financial freedom and cause the international community to "realize we’re serious about our sovereignty", as well as help alleviate poverty within the nation.
The digital currency is a type of cryptocurrency, and like the cryptocurrency bitcoin, MazaCoin can be bought or sold on international cryptocurrency exchanges, or it can be obtained through virtual "mining". The underlying software for MazaCoin is derived from that of another cryptocurrency, ZetaCoin, which in turn is based on bitcoin's SHA-256 proof of work system. It includes 50 million pre-mined Mazacoin, equally split by the Lakota Nation between a national reserve and a planned "Tribal Trust", which it is hoped will help "to prevent the wild speculation that has caused bitcoin such price volatility." One of its differences from bitcoin is that it is "inflationary" (in the Austrian economics sense—see inflation for the mainstream sense); while there is a maximum cap of 21 million bitcoins that will be produced, there is no similar cap for MazaCoin. The Lakota Nation anticipates that 2.4 billion MazaCoin will be produced within five years, and drop to 1 million MazaCoin per year thereafter. Another difference from bitcoin is that it is "simpler" in a way that makes it consume less power to run the cryptographic mining algorithm, making it more environmentally friendly.
The MazaCoin development received a Memorandum of Understanding between the Oglala Lakota Nation & the MazaCoin Development Team. On 25 March 2014, David Mills, Director Oglala Sioux Tribe, Office of Economic Development commented on the status of MazaCoin that the tribe is "for support of more research" and "if we are satisfied with the outcome we will develop a resolution to the Tribal E&BD Committee in support of this venture to be forwarded on the Tribal Council for final approval."
The MazaCoin development team officially endorsed a community-built and -driven website called MazaTalk.
"This coin has a block target of 120 seconds, and a block reward of 1000 MZC, halving now every 950,000 blocks. The initial block reward was 5000MZC, which was lowered to 1000MZC at block 100,000 when the difficulty retartgeting algorithm was changed in Mazacoin"
The Fort Laramie treaty of 1868 ended Red Cloud’s war and guaranteed the ownership of the Black Hills to the Oglala Lakota. MazaCoin was created as response to the seizure of the Black Hills. Their genesis blockchain serves as a ledger, which reads, "The Black Hills are not for sale. 1868 is the LAW!"
- Hamill, Jasper (2014-02-27). "The Battle of Little Bitcoin: Native American tribe launches its own cryptocurrency". Forbes.
- "Native American Tribe Decides to Adapt Crypto". Cointelegraph. 10 February 2017.
- Gaylord, Chris (2014-03-22). "Good Reads: From teacher fundraisers, to an atomic timekeeper, to MazaCoin". The Christian Science Monitor.
- Landry, Alysa (2014-03-03). "9 questions surrounding MazaCoin, the Lakota cryptocurrency: answered". Indian Country Today Media Network.
- Ramos, Jairo (2014-03-07). "A Native American tribe hopes digital currency boosts its sovereignty". Code Switch: Frontiers of Race, Culture, and Ethnicity. National Public Radio.
- Hofman, Adam (2014-03-06). "The dawn of the national currency – an exploration of country-based cryptocurrencies". Bitcoin Magazine.
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- "Memorandum of Understanding between the Oglala Lakota Nation & the MazaCoin Development Team". Retrieved 2014-03-25. Document published by unknown user on Google Docs website.
- "David Mills, Director Oglala Sioux Tribe, Office of Economic Development on the status of MazaCoin". Mazatalk.com. Archived from the original on 2014-03-26. Retrieved 2014-03-25.
- "Statement By The MazaCoin Development Team On The New Website MazaTalk". Retrieved 2014-03-25. Statement posted by anonymous user "Guest" on Pastebin website.
- Government, U.S. "Treaty of Fort Laramie". Ourdocuments.gov. Retrieved 13 April 2016.
- Browning, Lynnley. "Oglala Sioux hopes Bitcoin alternative, MazaCoin will change economic woes". Newsweek. Retrieved 13 April 2016.
- Pauli, Hunter (11 February 2015). "Cryptocurrency as economic freedom for indigenous peoples".
- Official website
- Officially endorsed community website MazaTalk.com
- "Crypto-Currency: Lakota Nation set to launch MazaCoin", O'Gorman, Helen. Financial Crime Asia (website). 19 February 2014.