If you don't know anything about digital currency a good place to start, besides Google, is
Digital currencies are likely to transition to an 'artificial intelligence ecosystem' soon. That just means that 'coins' will be created by people doing simple tasks which improve their network's ai algorithm, on their computer.
Mazacoin was the first attempt at making a tribal currency.
You can watch an interview with the founder of Mazacoin https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=o_ISpsRwDc0
Or this Mazacoin video https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=3BoQGkCu_Fk
Mazacoin was made by Payu Harris, an Oglala Sioux. Coins were pretty new when he made Mazacoin and a lot of mistakes were made that had never been made before, mainly because he was doing something new.
Anybody planning a tribal currency should start by learning from Mazacoin's mistakes. Native people who are not familiar with the dangers of being 'the visible face' of a project should especially pay attention to all the attacks made against Payu online.
He did not do that well trying to make an indigenous coin, but he has to be respected for being willing to step up again and again as he was being attacked.
Politics and money are both dirty businesses and it's important to be careful.
Some mistakes to avoid.
1) Payu tried to be too inclusive.
It's fine to be inclusive up to a point, but some things should not be entirely open to everybody. The United States has always encouraged the silly idea that government projects deserve privacy and limited access, while individual projects must be open to everybody.
Mazacoin tried to cater to anybody and everybody. The coin got a lot of publicity internationally, and immediately the wealthiest miners started mining and got a monopoly on the coin.
So there was never really a chance for Natives to own more than a tiny amount of the first 'Native currency'.
A Native currency should not be distributed primarily to non Natives. It isn't discrimination, it's common sense.
2) All of Mazacoin's vulnerabilities were public.
Mazacoin relied on the same types of security as other altcoins with no additional security features. Consequently it was repeatedly attacked until a 51% attack that left it unusable for a while.
A tribal currency should have hidden security features, and contingency plans for dealing with problems. The most important security feature available easily to tribal currencies is the use of a tribal language amongst the users of the currency to secure the coin. If you need to know 20 words of the language to mine or spend a Native coin, 99% of attackers are going to avoid it.
There are frequent attacks on coins that do not have any central authority. A tribal coin could have a mechanism where fraudulent transactions are undone, but it would have to figure out a way to prevent a few individuals from seizing control, as happens with fiat and low quality coins.
One security option is to have a financial authority that only has the power to freeze the blockchain temporarily to burn or freeze coins that are hacked. All of their actions would have to be public.
Yet another option would be to have each coin or fraction of a coin 'colored' so anybody could claim publicly 'such and such colored coin is stolen' and even if the transaction were obscured the individual coin could be identified after it changed wallets. There can be millions of colors for coins, each different. BitGem is an early example of a coin that users could color, but it's version of coloring was to make gems with different colors, sizes etc. https://bitgem.rocks/
Here are some bitcoin addresses with hundreds of millions of dollars total, and there is no way to recover the money easily because bitcoin users have been forced to sacrifice security in order to use a decentralized system.
Indigenous language coins that are used by a unified tribe do not need to be so decentralized. In some tribes where the people have been set against each other fighting over U.S. politics, that political issue should be solved first.
3) Payu trusted outsiders to help him with the coin.
Natives should know better by now.
Payu may not have known enough to make a coin by himself at the time. He should have waited, learned, then acted when he knew enough. Instead he onboarded some outside characters who steered him in circles.
Tribes should handle tribal currencies. If you can't do it then learn rather than trusting outsiders. It might sound undemocratic but it's common sense.
The key to a secure tribal currency will be the use of a tribal language within as many aspects of the coin as possible, so that it cannot be spent, transacted, used without some knowledge of the language. Creating the coin, 'mining', also has to be restricted to people who know some of the language.
Below are some general suggestions for a group starting a tribal currency.
1) Once you know a bit about digital currencies, look for somebody in your tribe who knows more than you, somebody who has studied computer science / networking etc.
2) If that person is agreeable to the project, look for some old people familiar with politics. Older people will have a better sense of how to avoid some general dangers young people won't see.
3) First you should create a test currency to learn with. The test currency can have a lifespan, for example 5 years, after which it will convert to a certain percentage of the new currency. For example the entire supply of the test currency, all of its coins, might convert to 10% of the 'final currency'. When the test currency expires each holder will get 1 new coin for every 10 old ones, and the remaining 90% of the 'new' currency can be distributed according to what was learned during the test currency phase.
As a test currency you could first just use a clone or cookie cutter coin experimentally.
A lot of established fairly secure networks also are starting to create ways to 'issue your own coin' as well, including.
The first fork of Bitcoin resulted in two high quality coins. The larger one by current usage is called 'Bitcoin' in English, the second is called 'Bitcoin Cash'. Bitcoin Cash has several new ways to make your own private currency, the newest being 'SLP'.
or just use
You can see the latest SLP tokens created at
but, as with all tokens and coins, beware of people asking for donations to 'help orphans' or whatever. Many coins are created to trick people into giving money without actually doing what they claim to do.
Cookie cutter coins/tokens have proliferated, in fact most coins that exist today are clone coins with a tiny change. These coins used to be referred to by some people generically as coingen coins, after an early coin clone service http://cryptolife.net/avoiding-coins-created-with-coingen/
Today it is not considered so dishonorable to create instant knockoff coins, simply because they are the norm.
Using an established platform like Stellar, you can create a test currency just to practice. You must make an original coin though as your final tribal currency. Some major platforms have flaws that put all of the tokens created on them at risk. More importantly, long term security must be derived from using coding quirks that are unique to the specific spoken language. There is no other long term way to guarantee security. The basic premise of public key cryptography is flawed long term and there are other issues as well with using another group's language to code functions that require security.
4) Several aspects of digital currencies commonly used should be adapted specifically for tribal currency.
a) "Immutability of the blockchain" is respected among regular currencies i.e., "trust the code, not the people". That means once a transaction happens, once you buy or sell something, the transaction cannot be reversed unless both parties agree. But a tribal currency should have defensive measures in place that allow changes in the event of a hack or algorithm issue or other problems.
b) Proof of stake, with a low to moderate interest rate would help keep the network active in the beginning and would have other benefits.
c) Some of the coding, and other security measures, should involve incorporating the language into the coin at a basic level, as well as requiring constant input in the language to mine the coin.
d) The network should be fully transparent. It should have explorers that show all wallets, transactions and history.
5) Initial distribution is the most important factor in the credibility of the coin.
a) If it is a tribal coin then distribute it initially to tribal members only.
b) If part of the goal is language survival then use of the language can be incentivized through distribution. People who speak more of the language get more coins initially. A test currency gives a window during which more people can learn some of the language.
c) Some consideration should be given to initially distributing a very small number of coins as a buffer with other economies i.e., maybe 1% or less of coins available to sell in exchange for other currencies. History shows this percentage should be small.
d) If all tribal members are given a quantity of unspendable coins that generate 'proof of stake' interest, it will prevent reckless people from spending all their money, they will only be able to spend the interest.
Once there are several secure, cohesive networks based on language or tribe, it will be possible to use a new algorithm that will strengthen those coins and create 'work' that will generate significant income for individuals and do some other important things.