Despite the many successes they have experienced this past year, cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin especially, have seen their fair share of controversy. We’ve seen hacks that have lost people a lot of money, stock prices becoming inflated thanks to blockchain investments, fake digital currencies, and who could forget the huge plunge the original cryptocurrency took from near-$20,000 to below $13,000 at the end of December?
Now, we bring you the next level – Egypt has banned Bitcoin. Bans on cryptocurrencies have happened before; a country deciding it’s against Bitcoin is nothing new. However, in this particular case, the Egyptian Grand Mufti who ordered the ban hasn’t just declared Bitcoin illegal for the country, he’s declared it as a direct transgression against Islam. According to the Egyptian Grand Mufti, as well as several other prominent Islamic leaders and their backers, Bitcoin is against the entire religion.
This makes perfect sense once you listen to the reasoning behind this claim. Participating in the trading of cryptocurrencies is akin to gambling, which is strictly forbidden in Islam as it can directly cause the financial ruin of investors. Bitcoin, of all the cryptocurrencies, portrays this the best. It is extremely volatile, as is evidenced by the slide it experienced in December, and so it is certainly capable of causing a lot of financial ruin. People are saying that the preeminent coin is beginning to recover now (it is currently selling for $15,174.90, according to CoinMarketCap), but who is to say there won’t be another huge slide like the one witnessed at the end of 2017? A thing can only grow for so long.
Egypt has declared Bitcoin a dangerous prospect and, frankly, this may not be the worst stance to get behind. Cryptocurrencies can be fun to play around with, much like gambling, but also like gambling, I think I’d prefer to watch from the sidelines.
Featured Image: twitter