Some view cryptocurrency as an investment, others see it as the future of money, plenty more view the medium as a scam. No matter where you fall on the spectrum, it must be acknowledged that crypto captured people’s attention around the world, including in Indonesia, where the number of crypto traders reached 7.4 million in July 2021 and crypto transactions totaled IDR 478.5 trillion (USD 33.5 billion), according to the trade ministry. There is now a slew of exchange platforms like Tokocrypto, Indodax, Pintu, and more that specifically manage transactions for Indonesians.

While crypto’s is becoming more popular, the nation’s top body of Islamic scholars, the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI), issued a fatwa that says cryptocurrency as a means of payment is haram, or non-permissible in Islam. A fatwa is a nonbinding legal opinion given by a recognized authority.

Crypto as a financial instrument carries elements of speculation and uncertainty, and is forbidden to function as a currency under state law as Indonesia only recognizes rupiah as legal tender in the country. The use of digital tokens as a commodity for trading is also forbidden due to their lack of clearly defined value and physical structure. However, cryptocurrencies could be traded if they meet Islamic rules and have an underlying asset as well as clear benefits. Emil Dharma, vice chairman of the Indonesian Sharia Fintech Association offered an explanation. “An example of cryptocurrencies that could be…

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