In Dubai's decades-old Gold Souq, customers from around the world haggle over bangles and necklaces. Elsewhere in the emirate, the region's top centre for gold trade, bullion is playing a new role in financial engineering. A local start-up company founded last year, OneGram, is issuing a gold-backed cryptocurrency - part of efforts to convince Muslims that investing in cryptocurrencies complies with their faith. The global surge of interest in bitcoin, ethereum and other cryptocurrencies extends into the Gulf and Southeast Asia, the main centres of Islamic finance. But because they are products of financial engineering and objects of speculation, cryptocurrencies sit uneasily with Islam.
Diya (Arabic: دية; plural diyāt, Arabic: ديات) in Islamic law, is the financial compensation paid to the victim or heirs of a victim in the cases of murder, bodily harm or property damage. It is an alternative punishment to qisas (equal retaliation). In Arabic, the word means both blood money and ransom, and it is spelled sometimes as diyah or diyeh.[citation It only applies when victim's family want to compromise with the guilty party; otherwise qisas applies. Diya compensation rates have historically varied based on the gender and religion of the victim.
The increasingly accelerated rate at which different cryptocurrencies are entering the market has left many small time investors wondering if there is a real value in investing in the new technology. While many remain concerned about volatility in the market as well as the difficulties in investing, experts say with the proper security standards in place, investors have a number of options they can comfortably pick from. And with the arrival of new and secure blockchain trading platforms in the market, it will soon be easier for investors to buy, sell and trade in cryptocurrencies. Palmex, one such trading platform by ArabianChain, which came online on October 30, 2017, is one of the first digital asset exchanges to be born out of the Middle East and North Africa. The exchange offers investors and amateurs an intuitive user experience with advanced trading tools, multiple cryptocurrency pairs, rigorous security measures and minimal trading fees.