ISTANBUL – Turkey’s leading religious authority declared Bitcoins un-Islamic on Wednesday, warning its citizens against buying the world’s most popular cryptocurrency.
“Buying and selling virtual currencies is not compatible with religion at this time because of the fact that their valuation is open to speculation, they can be easily used in illegal activities like money laundering and they are not under the state’s audit and surveillance,” announced Turkey’s Directorate of Religious Affairs, known as Diyanet, Newsweek reported.
It added that Bitcoin had not been authorized by the state.
According to Turkish media, the decision followed a meeting last Friday on the digital currency.
The cryptocurrency is the financial story of 2017, rising from less than $1,000 at the start of January to more than $10,000 at the time of writing.
Many expect the digital currency to continue its ascent, but financial juggernauts have expressed caution about its lack of regulation.
Bitcoin’s market value remains less than $200 billion, a slither of the world’s $200 trillion in financial market assets.
Islamic banking requires banking activities to follow the religious teachings of Islam, which require a currency to be tangible or to have evidence of existence.
For a currency to be halal, it must be deflationary in nature meaning that it is resistant to inflation and has a steady market price.