A Native American nation is turning to cryptocurrency as a means through which to assert its sovereignty and encourage its members to keep their money circulating within the community, the Verge reports. Modelled after Bitcoin, Mazacoin will be the official currency of the Lakota nation’s seven bands, explained coder and activist Payu Harris during an appearance at the Bitcoin Center.
But it won’t be easy and government pushback is expected, Chase Iron Eyes, who is the Lakota’s legal counsel in South Dakota, told the Verge.
"There hasn’t been a tribal nation that has declared its own currency and has mandated that that currency is used within its borders," Iron Eyes said. "But it’s because of this pervasive, ever-present asserted dominion of the United States. They’ll try to shut us down, try to cite us with law violations."
The government has treated Bitcoin as a legal entity, but has imposed regulations about how the currency is transmitted and accounted for.
"We’ve gone through 100 years of imposed poverty. That’s the fight we’re having," he said. "What we’re trying to do with MazaCoin is just spark something to get us out of this cycle of victimhood."
[via The Verge]