While Islamic scholars have long wrestled with the question of whether cryptocurrency is halal, what if it’s really fiat that isn’t permissible?
Islam has strict rules around finance, and it historically defines currency as commodities with intrinsic value — gold, silver, or salt, among others. Waseem Mamlouk, from the DeFi platform Nimbus, argues that government-issued fiat currencies do not have any intrinsic value and may be incompatible with a careful interpretation of Sharia law. This would pose a problem for the burgeoning Islamic finance industry, which aims to produce financial returns in compliance with religious law.
“Mined cryptocurrencies have intrinsic value because it costs a certain amount to produce them — but fiat currencies that are printed digitally onto a balance sheet have no intrinsic value whatsoever.”
Mamlouk sees cryptocurrencies as a viable alternative. As the vice president of Capital Markets for Nimbus, Mamlouk is working to have portions of the business certified as Sharia-compliant in order to dip into the growing