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Native American tribes adopt Bitcoin-like currency, prepare to battle US government

05
Mar
2014

The programmer and Native American activist Payu Harris raised a gavel Monday night and vigorously banged the bell to open trading at The Bitcoin Center, a meeting space for virtual currency geeks that looks like an empty art gallery in the middle of New York’s Financial District. Harris was there to promote MazaCoin, a cousin of Bitcoin that is now the official currency of the seven bands that make up the Lakota nation. After an hour of questions, Harris thanked the small crowd and was promptly accosted by a tall man and a woman in red who wanted to buy some MazaCoin, which Harris was selling for 10 cents apiece. MazaCoin is a month-old cryptocurrency based on the same proof-of-work algorithm as Bitcoin, the virtual currency that approximates cash on the internet — but no one in the room was equipped to made a digital trade.

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