Islamic finance, based on Islamic law principles known as Shariah, prohibits interest-based transactions, uncertainty in commerce, and gambling and speculation. Cryptocurrencies, on the other hand, are decentralized currencies that operate without the need for traditional banking institutions and are highly volatile.
To determine whether cryptocurrency aligns with the principles of Islamic finance, each declaration must be analyzed separately. Cryptocurrency aligns with the prohibition of interest as it does not involve charging or paying interest. However, the high volatility in the crypto market can create uncertainty, which is prohibited in Islamic finance. Yet, the Islamic banking concept that forbids ambiguity may be consistent with using cryptocurrencies if utilized openly and unambiguously.
Islamic finance emphasizes social and ethical responsibility and encourages investment in socially responsible projects that positively impact society and the environment. Cryptocurrency does not inherently promote social and moral responsibility but can be used for such purposes. Therefore, cryptocurrency can align with Islamic finance’s social and ethical responsibility principle if used for socially responsible purposes.
Asset-backed financing is a requirement in Islamic finance, ensuring that tangible assets support all financing transactions. While cryptocurrency is not inherently asset-backed, it can be used in asset-backed financing arrangements, such as issuing cryptocurrency backed by gold or other tangible assets.
With Sharia compliance in mind, blockchain networks are being built, creating Sharia-compliant cryptocurrencies that adhere to ethical and moral principles, such as transparency and social responsibility. A team of specialists in Islamic finance and blockchain technology often work together to ensure compliance with Islamic law standards.
Sharia-compliant cryptocurrencies can decentralize financial products in the Muslim world, especially in countries with a high need for financial products that adhere to Islamic law. Additionally, these cryptocurrencies can serve everyday purposes like paying for goods or services.