Bankers have spoken of it, government officials have talked about it, yet, there’s one community that hasn’t been very vocal about Bitcoin, at least until now.
The first group of religious leaders to have spoken on the matter this year is, the supreme religious official of Egypt, Grand Mufti Shawki Allam, who has stated that the trading of Bitcoin could be considered as not lawful. The religious leader stated that this form of trading goes against the religious law forming part of the Islamic tradition, called Sharia Law.
A local online publication reported that there was a fatwa, or a ruling on a topic of Islamic law given by a recognized authority, on the matter of the leading cryptocurrency Bitcoin.
The ruling was decreed at the start of this week, on the first day of the new year. The online publication noted that the digital asset, Bitcoin, does not constitute a feasible means of exchange and thus makes it fall under the area of not legal to utilize in the matters of trade.
The leading religious leader commented that the emerging cryptocurrency could also be used for illicit activities like that of money laundering due to the lack of regulation and control that is currently present in the global system. The cleric believes that virtual asset can subvert or threaten the economy of the ancient country.
The religious leader stated that the new digital asset is forbidden in Islamic law because it has the ability cause injury to people of all sorts, from individuals to organizations.
One of the counselors of the supreme religious leader commented that he believes that terrorists use it to supply money to support their nefarious activities.
The government of the ancient country has also expressed their disdain for these new currencies, stating that Bitcoin deals in trickery and deceit.
Permissible or Impermissible?
There are points of contention in this matter. Many believe that the currency with its blockchain is, in fact, permissible due to the fact it is more transparent and precise than that of the current system. These characteristics allow for more fairness, something that may not be as present in the current form of recording.
Others have noted that it is necessary to look at the fact that all throughout history, the religion of Islam has looked solely to means of exchange that have inherent value to be utilized day to day transactions. Thus, when looking at it from this rather, harsh light, one would know that the religion may not look favorably on the emerging asset class.
Going into 2018
But, despite the push-back, it seems that there is no decrease in the interest of cryptocurrencies. Bitcoin fluctuates around fourteen thousand to fifteen thousand dollars, and alt-coins are continuously appreciating in price.
Where will the new year take Bitcoin and these other cryptocurrencies and how will the larger world react in this system?
It seems that many are bullish on the matter and that adoption will be increasing over time as more innovations like the Lightning Network, Smart Contracts, and other improvements are expanded and deployed.