A decision by a prominent religious body in Ingushetia to prohibit dealings with cryptocurrency has sparked controversy in the predominantly Muslim Russian republic. Critics have taken to social media to express their disagreements with the ban, pointing out that the treatment of bitcoin in Islamic jurisdictions is not one-sided.
Islamic Cleric Explains Reasoning Behind Crypto Prohibition
At a meeting in mid-April, the Ingush Council of Alims adopted a ban on the purchase and sale of cryptocurrencies by Muslims in the country. The Islamic clergymen said at the time that they took the decision after studying Islamic sources and reaching a conclusion that the religion prohibits the trading of electronic money.
Deputy Chief Mufti Magomed Hashtyrov has since been compelled to explain the council’s position. This week, he told the local newspaper Ingushetia that cryptocurrencies, as a means of payment, have no physical representation and their exchange differs from the trading of goods in a physical marketplace. The latter is not prohibited for Muslims. The theologian revealed that the council had already intervened to resolve disputes over cryptocurrency, even between clerics in one case, and stated:
Only honest labor brings people together, and virtual easy money quarrels them.
Hashtyrov then insisted that “cryptocurrency, for now, is neither money, nor it is a commodity. When it becomes publicly available, legally accepted means of payment, with a state guarantee, then we can talk about money, but not today,” Ingushetia quoted him saying.
Instagram Users React to Unfounded Ban on Crypto Trading in Ingushetia
The newspaper shared the article with Hashtyrov’s comments on Instagram and judging by the reactions, not everyone agrees with his interpretations. As reported by the Caucasian Knot portal, Ingushetians have commented that their country has more pressing issues to deal with than banning crypto transactions….