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Religions on Cryptocurrency

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January 25, 2018 | 

Joanna Newman |  0 Comments| 

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With all the excitement surrounding cryptocurrency lately, even religions are starting to get involved. Either pro or anti crypto, everyone seems to be putting in their two cents. Today, we focus on what diverse religions say about cryptocurrency.

Bitcoin Vs Sharia Law


Shawki Allam, an Egyptian Mufti, has recently decided their stance on Bitcoin. According to this religious authority, the trade of Bitcoin goes against Islamic law. On January 1st, the religious figure launched a fatwa, prohibiting the trade of virtual currency on Egyptian territory.

As a reminder, a Mufti is a highly respected authority in the Muslim religion and has the power to issue fatwas, which are legal opinions. Muftis interpret Muslim or Sharia law, and are consulted when there is a need for Islam to take a stance on a given situation.

To explain Islam’s decision, Shawki Allam compared trading Bitcoin to a game of chance, which goes against one of the major laws of the Muslim religion. He emphasized this with the fact that virtual currency is leading many into financial ruin.

The Mufti also spoke up about international and economic reasons for the fatwa and brought up the volatility of its market, quoting that its price fluctuates up to 40% in a single day.



Meanwhile, Egypt is not the only country to declare Bitcoin as a violation of Sharia law. Turkey’s Religious Affairs Directorate has also strongly condemned virtual currencies because of their ties to gambling and other illegal activities. "The buying and selling of cryptocurrencies violate Islam because their valuation is based on solely on speculation."


Bitcoin Vs Russian Bishop


Now, Bishop Hilarion Alfeye has taken a stance on Bitcoin, and he did not go easy on cryptocurrency. He said that he personally believes that cryptocurrency is a just another bubble with nothing real to supporting it. The Orthodox Bishop believes that cryptocurrencies are simply an evolution of the banking system into the digital age. He said, “It’s simply the reincarnation of the whole baking system, where real assets are replaced by virtual assets.”. However, he fears that this form of currency could lead to usury, which is something that the Church has always fought against, though without much success.

According to Alfeye, there is a disconnect between the value of a digital currency and a real, physical asset. "Cryptocurrencies are just another step in the evolution of money, now with a series of numbers instead of paper. We see that only among a certain group of people, these crypto-currencies have value, but this is unrealistic and is probably the biggest danger. "



In his anti-crypto statement, the Russian Bishop could not help putting fiat currency in the same category. He criticizes the current form of money for its inability to access all its tender in circulation.

“There is now more money in the world than any gold reserve can guarantee. In a way, fiat currency is already a cryptocurrency. We don’t know how it is truly controlled, why its price goes up and down or how much money is actually in circulation.”

It seems that between governments, central and religions, cryptocurrencies have many nay-sayers, and they are now starting to speak up.

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