If you asked us where the future of finance was heading, there would only be one plausible answer: Cryptocurrency.
Due to the technological revolution that has been working to create this more ‘sustainable’ method of payment over the past few years, we’ve seen global interest in cryptocurrency. And it only continues to grow as time goes on. But why? Why is everyone suddenly so obsessed with this idea? And why are a large portion of this newfound audience Muslim? Well, we’ve got all the low-down for you. Whether you’ve never even heard of crypto or you’re already invested in it, in this article we’re going to cover three simple points of interest that will give you more of an overview of what it has to offer and why it’s becoming so important to people in our current society.
There’s no denying that a lot of powerful people in the world of technology have dabbled in crypto. Take Elon Musk, for example. Does anyone remember the time he literally broke the industry with one single tweet about Dogecoin? For those of you that might not be aware, Dogecoin is a cryptocurrency promoted by the Telsa entrepreneur in what seemed to be a very light-hearted manner. But little did he know, one single tweet was going to send shares in the company through the roof. Within hours, people were investing their money into a digital currency that was inspired by a popular dog meme. Now, Musk even allows his customers to pay for Telsa merchandise as well as other products in Dogecoin! That’s how powerful it can be.
But Musk isn’t the only one. It has been reported that other multi-millionaires are already hinting at the movement, most recently Mark Zuckerberg. It seems as though the Facebook-Meta name change might have a little something to do with it. The ‘metaverse’ is a vague term that refers to virtual worlds in which people can game, work, play, socialise and trade. And it runs on cryptocurrencies.
Goldman Sachs, a prominent investment banking company has also placed their bets, saying: “Crypto technology will be at the heart of the metaverse, as it will allow people to securely own digital items across different virtual worlds.”
And finally, we have Amazon. While there’s a lot of speculation going around about Amazon and its plans to launch a method in which its customers can pay with cryptocurrencies, it seems as though they’re at least looking into it. The proof was suggested by City A.M. and then later reported by Bloomberg, because the retail giant had supposedly posted a job advert for a “Digital Currency and Blockchain Product Lead.” After the news was made public, Bitcoin surged to about $40,000. Amazon shares gained about 1% in New York. However, in the end, the reports were denied by Amazon. Regardless, the power that even the idea holds is overwhelming.
This topic may be of most interest to us as there has been a mixed opinion on this matter.
On one hand, you have some people saying that crypto will always be ‘haram’, as seen in countries like Indonesia, where the practice has been slammed by The National Ulema Council as they believe it involves a high degree of “uncertainty” and “wagering.”
But on the other hand, you have others stating that there are simple things one can do to make it ‘halal.’
According to Qardus.com, “Islamic finance principles dictates that in order for income, or investing in any product or asset, to be deemed halal it has to meet certain criteria. The principles of Shariah law should be applied to the financial systems we operate in and there has been some discussion about whether rules devised centuries ago can still be applied to a technologically modern digital financial marketplace.”
They continued: “The answer quite simply is yes, Shariah principles can be applied to modern crypto analysis as they are based on social justice, accountability and ethics which transcend all forms of financial transactions. As long as there is no illegal activity, then trading or investing in crypto should not be deemed to be contrary to Shariah principles.”
Other people such as Mufti Muhammad Abu-Bakar, a former Shariah advisor with a Master’s degree in Islamic Studies and Specialisation in Islamic Jurisprudence & Fatwa, have also made an argument that all currencies are speculative and subject to changing supply and demand. These currencies are admissible by Shariah which means cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin should be too.
Similarly, Sheikh Ziyaad Mahomed, an International Islamic Scholar and a leader in Islamic Finance has compared cryptocurrencies to the value of gold and silver, stating that none of them have an intrinsic value, which places them in the same category. And more so than that, the focus is on whether the means of wealth is socially accepted or not, and because it is, it is capable of completing necessary transactions. However, he’s also argued that the trading in bitcoin could be seen as more questionable but some have found a way around that…
And that brings me nicely onto point three.
Now, this is probably one of the biggest reasons why a lot of Muslims are now choosing to get involved in crypto. And it’s because companies like MRHB DeFi are making it more accessible to them without compromising on certain core Islamic principles. MRHB DeFi is the world’s first ethical & Islamic DeFi ecosystem built to aim to bridge the gap between the Muslim Community and the Blockchain world & drive the biggest revolution in finance in over a century.
As we all know, interest/riba/maysir are all haram, so that’s why MRHB have eliminated that from their process, so much so, that they have been deemed ‘Sharia Compliant‘, which means they adhere to all the guidelines that then allow them to promote their services as ‘halal.’ Being interest-free, decentralised, transparent means that they can offer a sense of security and the experienced and the highly qualified in-house Shariah advisors ensure this by providing the right advice to their users.
Finding it hard to believe? So did we, but then we were told about a unique feature Marhaba has implemented to make sure that they stay within these ‘halal’ guidelines. Introducing the Sahal Wallet, which is a non-custodial iOS and Android wallet, built to institutional standards with a focus on security and privacy. It is “integrated into MRHB’s Shariah filtering technology that allows only compliant tokens to be stored, transacted, and managed by the user.”
MRHB also has a unique marketplace named Souq NFT which is a “cross-chain ‘no-code’ marketplace to encourage and promote Shariah-compliant arts such as Islamic Arts and contemporary Calligraphy. An artist will have the option to create & upload their artwork and the underlying smart contracts will convert the uploaded file into an NFT,” so that users can easily buy and sell artwork via their platform.
So there we have it. While the concept of cryptocurrency is still daunting for some, the world is openly accepting it more and in the future, who knows, physical money could become a thing of the past. We’ll just have to wait and see.
In the meantime, read more about Marhaba DeFi and what they offer and remember to watch out for their Halal Compliant token, which is going live on 22nd December. Click here to have a look for yourselves!