Cryptocurrency has faced opposition from many sectors of society. At first, it was governmental and administrative authorities who were vehemently against the idea of cryptocurrency. Many big investors and institutional figures have also spoken against Bitcoin. However, what is happening now is something new. In Indonesia, the largest Muslim country in the world by population, an influential group of clerics have declared cryptocurrency ‘haram’, or forbidden. In Islam, one cannot partake in haram activities. It comes as a surprise to many devout Muslims as well since a recent phenomenon like cryptocurrency cannot have any link back to the holy scriptures. In recent times, many crypto exchanges have marketed themselves as ‘halal’ or compliant with Islam. The Majelis Ulama Indonesia or MUI is the most influential religious organization in Indonesia. On Thursday, they declared cryptocurrency haram.
While talking about the religious sanctions, top leaders from the MUI said cryptocurrency has an inherent element of gambling in it. They have also cited reasons of general harm to the community, to which they could not provide any supporting statement. Opposers of the move were quick to point out that any investment instrument entails a degree of gambling. In that respect, all forms of investments, including stocks, real estate, gold, etc., must be haram. Others have said that gambling and cryptocurrency work very differently and must not be confused. Most crypto communities in the world have spoken against this move, and it can pose a bigger threat to the growth of crypto in all Islamic nations.