Bitcoin is Halal: The View of Indonesian Finance Group
An Indonesian scholar thinks that Bitcoin is halal and should be accepted by both Turkish and Egyptian religious authorities. Mufti Muhammad Abu Bakar gave a study on the matter of accepting cryptocurrency in the Muslims world. He wrote;
“Although interest, investment, and speculation in Bitcoin and cryptocurrency have continued to rocket upward, there remains growing confusion amongst Muslims—which make up nearly a quarter of the world’s population—as to whether Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies comply with Shariah law”.
He approached the view that Sharia is very interpretable on specific matters, which could create confrontations that don’t have any clear answers. Bakar says:
“Shariah recognizes customary money as being anything that gains monetary status through wide acceptance in society or by government mandate”.
On the other side, the USA doesn’t recognize cryptocurrency as legal tender, instead of considering it as a commodity in some ways. According to Bakar, this qualifies BTC as Islamic customary money.
The Indonesian scholar’s statements contradict those of the Egyptian Grand Mufti and the Turkish Diyanet—the Directorate on Religious Affairs—both of which have issued fatwas against it for various reasons. The Diyanet in particular reasoned that Bitcoin “can be easily used in illegal activities”, and its value wildly fluctuates, which justifies forbidding it under Islamic law.
Bakar interpreted, that rules by Islamic scholars, which consider Bitcoin as not acceptable, because of being subject to illegal businesses are not valid reasons under Shariah, since these factors are external to Bitcoin: the BTC price is subject to supply and demand, just like the commodities and fiat currencies, and the use of any lawful thing for an unlawful purpose cannot make the thing out of law regulations.