Since the last few months I have been kept busy with questions about cryptocurrencies in general and bitcoin in particular.
The correspondence regarding this matter was further hiked with the passing of a few fatwas concerning these currencies with a strong airing of these currencies being forbidden (Haraam).
Furthermore, some of you came across a couple of twitter posts of mine related to Bitcoin, and an understanding in some circles was formualted stating that I have passed a fatwa stating it to be permissible (halal).
Given the sensitive nature of the topic and its questions; I quickly share the following points with the objective of covering the answers to the questions being asked.
Disclaimer: This is not an article nor a detailed response.
1. Irrespective of any private advice I have provided regarding Bitcoin; I have not passed a fatwa stating that Bitcoin buying/selling is impermissible, nor have I said it is permissible. I promote this stance currently due to the sensitive nature of the currency and the fact that more time, research and deliberation regarding the topic are required before an absolute view can be taken by myself. There are so many technicalities regarding its trade as well, especially given that it is considered a new concept. These technical issues pertaining to Bitcoin and it’s exchange will be looked at and refined over time which will have a bearing on any fatwa considerations, which makes it especially difficult to develop a well rounded conclusive fatwa at this moment in time.
2. I respect the fatwa of the scholars and duaat who have come out stating the purchase/sale of the currency to be impermissible, and believe they have made some valid points in their reasoning. That said; I also disagree with some of the reasonings offered in substantiation of their concluded views, and my agreement and disagreement with them in these matters is part of a natural discourse with regards to matters of this nature.
3. I believe the discussion in terms of whether Bitcoin is a currency or a commodity is a non-bearing one in terms of the considerations required to pass a fatwa on Bitcoin.