A Critical Analysis of Cryptocurrencies from an Islamic Jurisprudence Perspective


Money has changed its form many times throughout history and has begun to turn into digital form as an alternative to the current situation. The newest type of money form is a cryptocurrency which has been developed independently of any central authority. The usage areas of cryptocurrencies are increasing day by day. Bitcoin is one of the most accepted cryptocurrencies in the world, which was issued in 2009, dominated the cryptocurrency market and attracted the attention of large masses with its rapid rise in value. Cryptocurrency market size exceeded $800 billion in early 2018. Most of the cryptocurrency users want to get a share from value increases of cryptocurrencies. However, these behaviours are not in line with the philosophy of cryptocurrencies. Cryptocurrencies also cause problems of legitimacy for Muslim users in terms of Islamic Jurisprudence (Fiqh). Although many religious institutions and Islamic scholars say that cryptocurrencies are haram, several Islamic scholars consider that they are halal. In our study, the legitimacy of cryptocurrencies in terms of Fiqh is analysed multidimensionally employing the existing literature and fatwas. Furthermore, we attempt to determine the features of Islamic cryptocurrency.