Egypt’s highest official of religious law, Grand Mufti Shawki Allam, called Bitcoin trading “unlawful” under Sharia law, online publication Ahram reported today. In the fatwa issued Monday, Allam wrote that Bitcoin isn’t an “acceptable interface of exchange” and is therefore unlawful to trade. The cleric also cited Bitcoin’s potential for money laundering and pointed out that because it isn’t subject to any government’s control, Bitcoin could potentially undermine the Egyptian economy.
Allam further stated that Bitcoin negatively affects “dealers’ legal safety” and that:
“Bitcoin is forbidden in Sharia as it causes harm to individuals, groups and institutions.”
One of the grand mufti’s advisors told BBC that Bitcoin is “used directly to fund terrorists.” Egypt’s government is also no fan of cryptocurrencies, having called Bitcoin a “form of deception that falls under legal liability.”