Indonesia's highest religious body has banned Muslims from using cryptocurrency
Indonesia's Ulema Council, which is the highest religious body in the country, has banned trading in crypto-assets and their use as currency. This was reported by Bloomberg.
The council decided that cryptocurrencies are contrary to Sharia law because they lead to risk, harm, and speculation.
The council equated cryptocurrency trading with gambling and also banned it because cryptocurrencies have no physical form and no clear value.
The council can only allow the use of cryptocurrency that will comply with Shariah norms, Ulema Council chairman Asrorun Nima Shole added.
As Bloomberg notes, the council's decisions are not legally binding, but the country's Finance Ministry and Central Bank often seek its advice.
Muslims make up about 90% of Indonesia's population.
Indonesian authorities themselves have a positive attitude toward cryptocurrencies as an investment asset and even plan to launch their own cryptocurrency exchange by the end of the year. The use of virtual money as currency in the country is already not allowed.