Asia/Pacific

Indonesia religious council bans crypto assets for Muslims

Indonesia’s religious council has banned Muslims from accessing cryptocurrency assets, Bloomberg News reported. 

The National Ulema Council, referred to as MUI, held an expert hearing on Thursday that resulted in deeming cryptocurrency as “haram,” adding it has elements of uncertainty, wagering, and harm. 

Council head Asrorun Niam Sholeh opened the door to future trading if cryptocurrency can abide with Shariah tenets and prove beneficial to citizens, according to Bloomberg. 

The MUI holds authority over Shariah compliance in Indonesia, as the county’s finance ministry and central bank consult with them on Islamic financial issues. 

The decision will deter Muslim residents from investing in crypto assets and make local institutions reconsider issuing crypto assets. 

Bank Indonesia has already mulled the idea of creating a central bank digital currency, Bloomberg reported. 

And Indonesia’s government has been supportive of cryptocurrency, with plans to create a crypto-focused exchange by the end of 2021. 

Other Muslim-majority countries such as the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain have allowed forms of cryptocurrency assets for residents’ use. 

Indonesia’s government does not allow the use of crypto assets as legal tender, with rupiah being the only form of currency in the country, Bloomberg News noted.

Tags crypto assets Indonesia

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