Rr Ariyani Yakti Widyastuti, Jakarta – The East Java branch of one of Indonesia's largest Islamic organizations, Nahdlatul Ulama (NU), on Sunday announced its latest fatwa that deems the use of cryptocurrency or digital currencies secured by cryptography as a transaction tool as haram (forbidden under Islamic law).
This decision was made in a discussion (bahtsul masail) held on October 24. A fatwa is a nonbinding legal opinion on a point of Islamic law given by a qualified jurist.
The main reason why they forbade cryptocurrency use is that the digital currency can potentially eliminate the legality of transactions. Other considerations behind the haram status is that currency can be a tool to commit fraud.
The East Java Nahdlatul Ulama website wrote: "Participants of the bahtsul masail formed a view, despite crypto already being acknowledged by the government as a commodity, that it cannot be legalized under the [Islamic sharia]," said Kiai Azizi Chasbullah, acting as the discussion's certifier.
Following a dynamic and partially heated discussion, participants eventually deem that cryptocurrency lacks any benefit from the sharia point of view, as mentioned in fiqh or Islamic jurisprudence. This was confirmed by a cryptocurrency expert invited by the East Java NU to explain about the proper practice in the digital currency's use.