Wampum (originally called Wampumpeag) are traditional shell beads of the Eastern Woodlands tribes of the indigenous people of North America. Wampum was the first currency used in the American colonies and remained in use until the early 1700’s. We use the term “Wampum” in honor of the Wampanoag and Narragansett people who helped Roger Williams and some other liberty minded people (mostly Baptists) establish the first government in all the world since the creation of humanity where soul liberty was the rule of law – people were free to believe what they wanted and worship how they wanted without fear of persecution.
Wampum is based on the same technology as other cryptocurrencies (e.g. Bitcoin, Litecoin, etc). However, it operates in a significantly different way. It has been 100% pre-mined. This means that the complete set of 1,000,000,000,000,000 (one quadrillion) Wampum has been already created, and therefore there is no Wampum mining. *Note that this amount is less than half of the total number of bitcoin “[Satoshi](https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Units)” units!*
The decision to pre-mine was taken by the coin’s founder, Derek Peterson, to avoid the typical *get rich quick* behavior that has beset many other crypto currencies, and to create an equal playing field for underprivileged people all over the world who cannot afford mining equipment. Instead, Wampum are acquired through participation in partner sites, fulfilling altruistic and activist related bounties, or by purchasing Wampum directly on crypto-exchanges. Learn more about how to earn Wampum. http://wampum.org/earn-wampum/
In Peterson’s own words:
“We don’t do mining but you can earn Wampum through participation with our partner sites or just being a generally good person. If your main goal in life is to become an altcoin billionaire this isn’t the place for you but if you would like to get involved in actually making a difference in other people’s lives and in return get a little credit (Wampum) for your efforts than welcome.”
Given the absence of unrewarded mining in Wampum, the technical details are less relevant than with other cryptocurrencies. However, for the technology minded or curious – the block target time of Wampum has been set at 12 seconds, and advanced check pointing has been adopted (as introduced by Feathercoin(http://www.coindesk.com/feathercoin-secures-block-chain-advanced-check-pointing/) to prevent transaction reversals of the block chain. Wampum has also taken a forward looking stance and adopted the [NeoScrypt](http://www.feathercoin.com/neo-scrypt-press-release.pdf), which is an ASIC resistant proof of work algorithm based on [Scrypt](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scrypt).
A full list of Wampum specifications is posted at http://wampum.org/wampum-specifications/
and there is a web-based block chain explorer at http://explorer.wampum.org/.