Is Cryptocurrency halal to invest?

Discussion in 'Smalltalk' started by abu nibras, Feb 7, 2018.

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  1. abu Hasan

    abu Hasan Administrator

    if you listen to borg in this clip - he makes a statement that is very closely the situation a mufti may find himself in.

    he says:
    innovation always outruns regulation. right now there is very little regulation in this entire area. we are waiting to see what happens.

    at around 1.00 he says: 'at this point it is not a real commodity'

    around 1.28 he says:

    'innovation and technology always outrun regulation. that is a given. the technology as it continues to continues to increase..regulators need to understand what it is that the innovation is coming up with. and we are still trying to get educated.'​

    the mt.gox that he mentions in the clip:

  2. ridawi

    ridawi Muhammadi Sunni Hanafi

    An answer to whether it is permissible to invest in the various forms of cryptocurrencies should be sought from a reputable Sunni mufti (or a panel of muftis).

    However, the difficulty with that is explaining to them how cryptocurrencies work. Even if you do a great job of explaining, they may not understand fully due to the (sort of) intricate nature of it. In fact, not even many from the laity understand how blockchain and cryptocurrencies work. Maybe we should, together, draft an istifta in English and urdu which can be sent to various reputable dar al-iftas.

    Kifl al-Faqih, muna wa al-durar and fatawa ridawiyyah Vol 17 of alahazrat would be a starting point.

    Questions to provoke thinking:
    Can cryptocurrencies fall under the category of ‘maal’ (property)? Cryptocurrencies are intangible, which is an important aspect when considering whether it can be ‘maal’ or not. There are four types of maal generally, of which one is ‘that which is always thaman’. So the main question to answer is whether cryptocurrencies are a form of maal, and if so, which type of maal is it.

    I very much doubt it can fall under the category of ‘currency’ as it is not widely accepted as a form of payment nor used as such by the general population (these are general points mentioned about the nature of thaman e istilahi in fiqh books). However, that begs the question: what are all the requirements for something to become a currency according to the shari’at? The situation may change in the near future, whereby people accept and use cryptocurrencies as an actual form of payment, which also needs to be addressed for when the situation does happen.

    If it is deemed to be currency, it would have to be thaman e istilahi/urfi (currency due to public usage and acceptance) of course and not thaman e khalqi (created as currency: eg gold and silver).

    Then there is the important fact that crypto trading occurs mainly online. This is important due to the ‘one majlis’ (sitting) requirement for bay’. If it is deemed a currency, then there is also the requirement of gaining control over one (either the cash or the purchased cryptocurrency) within that sitting in which the transaction was agreed.

    There are many many important points to consider...
    AMQadiri likes this.
  3. Inwardreflection

    Inwardreflection Well-Known Member

    It looks like bitcoin wears two hats- one, currency and the other a commodity which could be invested in. Certainly, the technology that it sits on such as blockchain could be looked at as viable for investment purposes but even then it's use in haraam sectors like riba requirees for it to be properly scrutinized andd Allah Knows Best
  4. abu Hasan

    abu Hasan Administrator

  5. Aqib alQadri

    Aqib alQadri Veteran

    speculative purchase / sale of this item would be the basic reason for it to be forbidden (as in other items).

    it will probably fall, in the same way it has risen.
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2017
  6. sherkhan

    sherkhan Veteran

    looks like you missed the bus! It has bolted.
  7. SunniRadawi

    SunniRadawi New Member

    Have any of our Sunni scholars given a verdict on the use of bitcoin?
  8. Inwardreflection

    Inwardreflection Well-Known Member

    Someone needs to look into this and not think that this phenomenon is in some distant future like 200 years from now. In fact, I think the signs point to adoption of crypto currencies to replace paper money as something that is on the verge of becoming a reality in the next few years. The advancement of this new "Tech"era will bring with it a new financial status quo so we need to know from now the rulings related to these things.
  9. sherkhan

    sherkhan Veteran

  10. Inwardreflection

    Inwardreflection Well-Known Member

    yes but what is the answer- yes Halal or no Haram?
  11. sherkhan

    sherkhan Veteran

    Just discovered an old thread here, which seems to have gone off-track without really discussing the legality.
  12. abu Hasan

    abu Hasan Administrator

    we started discussing it here:

    i will cut/paste the same here:

    so the question is: how do you deal with bitcoin as "thaman" or should it be deemed "thaman"?

    laws concerning its commerce and financial capacity as a "currency".

    the lament of the anarchist in this post is evidently justified:

    the key point that i am trying to make is that - most islamic scholars are unaware of what's happening in tech (and the world). whether bitcoin or apple pay. sadly, scholars from the subcontinent seem to be the farthest and least interested.

    bonus point: you can discuss bitcoin on our forum.

    many forums and communities are discussing this.

    DISCLAIMER: the links above do not mean that i endorse those PoVs.
  13. sherkhan

    sherkhan Veteran

    With the crypto-currencies (bitcoins etc.) in a seeming bubble, it is probably worthwhile to deliberate if these are halal to invest in. Please ignore the investment/economic rationale and set aside safety/prudence considerations for the time being.

    Cryptos have come a long way from being dark-web currency. Are these too speculative, prone to market manipulation? Too artificial to be called money/currency? More than currencies, should these be viewed as stocks/shares (at least these don't have the taint of business engaging in haraam activities)?

    Any thoughts?
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2017

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