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Egypt says 'Bitcoin' currency is prohibited by Islam

A digital rendition of a Bitcoin [Pexels]
A digital rendition of a Bitcoin [Pexels]

Egypt’s Dar Al Iftaa yesterday issued a Fatwa (Islamic ruling) that deems the Bitcoin virtual currency as forbidden by Islam.

“Bitcoin could be harmful to the country’s social and economic security,” Dar Al Iftaa said, stressing that the currency could break through the national security and central financial systems.

The Egyptian Grand Mufti’s Counsellor, Magdy Ashour, said that the currency “is used directly to fund terrorists,” explaining that its transactions threaten major damage to the economy.

“It has no set rules, which is considered as a contract annulment in Islam, that is why it is forbidden,” Ashour added.

Egypt was not the only country prohibiting Bitcoin, a Saudi minister, Assim Al-Hakim, recently announced in that the currency is forbidden because “it is a cryptographic form of money that is vague and gives namelessness to crooks.”

“We know that bitcoins remain anonymous when you deal with it… which means that it’s an open gate for money laundering, drug money and haram [forbidden] money,” he said. “Muslims should not get involved in such dubious transactions simply to make a quick buck, to make a quick profit. This is not an Islamic concept,” warned Hakim.

Read: Israel regulator seeks to ban bitcoin firms from stock exchange

Bitcoin is a type of crypto currency independent of traditional banking; Bitcoin started circulating in 2009 and has become the most prominent of several fledgling digital currencies, according to Reuters.

The number of the currency users increased drastically in recent years. Since 2013, the number of Bitcoin users around the world jumped from 300,000 to 1.3 million. It is currently traded on the Chicago Stock Exchange after it gained popularity and increased value in the past few days in an unprecedented manner.

In 2014, major companies such as Paypal, Microsoft, Dell, and PwC began accepting Bitcoin as part of their transactions. Forbes named the Bitcoin as the best investment of 2013 and in 2015 it topped Bloomberg’s currency tables.

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