This could be a more significant development than most other competitors to Bitcoin because, while Muslim buyers have displayed great interest in cryptocurrency, there are looming fears they will be outlawed in Muslim nations as a violation of sharia's strict prohibitions against usury. "Sharia principles, in addition to banning interest payments, emphasize real economic activity based on physical assets and frown on pure monetary speculation," Reuters explains. "That has triggered debate among Islamic scholars over whether cryptocurrencies are religiously permissible. Cryptocurrency companies are seeking to sway the debate by launching instruments based on physical assets and certified as valid by Islamic advisors." OneGram does this, as its name implies, by using at least one gram of physical gold to back the value of each crypto unit.
One of Egypt's most prominent religious leaders, the Grand Mufti Sheikh Shawki Allam, delivered a fatwa on Jan. 1 claiming Islamic law might prohibit bitcoin because it carries a high risk of "fraudulence" and "cheating." He said cryptocurrency is riskier than fiat currency because it isn't regulated by the government.
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