Bitcoin forbidden in Islam: Egypt’s grand mufti

(Web desk)

As the crypto currency is gaining popularity arround the world ,   Egypt s grand mufti has said that bitcoin is forbidden in Islam, warning the digital currency could be used for criminal purposes.

Bitcoin, launched in 2009 and based on a peer-to-peer payment system, poses “high risks to individuals and states,” Shawqi Allam said in a published ruling.

It could provide “stable and secure financial resources for terrorists and criminal groups,” said Allam, who acts as the country s official interpreter of Islamic law.

Minting and issuing currency is an “absolute right” of monetary institutions and “one of the most specific functions of the state,” he said.

Bitcoin is a virtual currency created from computer code. It and other virtual currencies use blockchain, which records transactions that are updated in real time on an online ledger and maintained by a network of computers.

Its value surged as high as $19,500 in December from around $1,000 last January, but has slipped back after a series of warnings from governments and analysts about the risk and volatility associated with cryptocurrencies.

(with inputs from AFP)