In an official fatwa Egypt’s Grand Mufti Shawki Allam proclaimed Bitcoin “unlawful” according to the teachings of Islam.
The mufti said that because the Egyptian government has not legalized the virtual currency people must avoid using it as it may be harmful to the country’s social and economic security.
“It has no set rules, which is considered as a contract annulment in Islam, that is why it is forbidden,” Ashour added.
A similar stance toward Bitcoin was taken earlier by a Saudi minister, Assim Al-Hakim. He announced that the currency is forbidden in the country 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,” Hakim added, according to Middle East Eye.
Bitcoin is a type of cryptocurrency which is carried out online through a set of codes; it is different from traditional banking as the person using the Bitcoin may choose to remain anonymous. It started circulating in 2009 and has since become the most prominent of the digital currencies.
Since 2014, major companies such as PayPal, Microsoft, Dell and PwC have begun to accept Bitcoin as part of their transactions.