his past year, cryptocurrencies and Bitcoin especially, have experienced a great deal of growth and controversy alike: from the blockchain investment- induced swelling in stock prices, fake digital currencies, and the significant dive the original cryptocurrency took -from near $20,000 to below $13,000- at the end of December. This week, Egypt has banned Bitcoin.
Bans on cryptocurrencies have happened before. 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.
The reasoning behind the measure is that 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 evidenced volatibility by the slide it experienced in December, so it is certainly capable of causing financial ruin. And although the preeminent coin is beginning to recover now -currently selling for $15,174.90, according to CoinMarketCap-, it is hard to predict if there will not be another huge slide like the one witnessed at the end of 2017 in store.