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| 07 February, 2018

Is trading in crypto units halal?

A few Islamic scholars have already issued fatwas


Cryptocurrencies have been the talk of the town ever since Bitcoin went through the roof - making a lot of people rich overnight - but its recent steep decline has also created ripples in global financial markets, causing investors to fear losing their millions.

But is it halal?

A few Islamic scholars have issued a fatwa, permitting trading in cryptocurrencies while a few scholars from Saudi Arabia and Egypt have raised concerns from a religious perspective as the digital currency are ambigious and could be used for criminal purposes by rogue elements.

In the UAE, scholars at the Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities Department are also analysing whether cryptocurrencies are permissible in Islam and meet all the requirements of Shariah rulings.

"Some official fatwa committees in the Islamic world have issued fatwas that considered Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies impermissible. Few other scholars have opted to legalise them; however, they were speaking about digital currencies in general, and not about cryptocurrencies in particular. The matter of cryptocurrencies is still under study in our department of Iftaa, and we have not reached a decisive ruling yet," the department said in response to a query from Khaleej Times.

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In December, Central Bank of the UAE Governor Mubarak Rashed Al Mansouri said the UAE is working with Saudi Arabia's central bank to issue a digital currency that would be accepted in cross-border transactions between the two countries.

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