Russian media outlets report the Mufti of Moscow Ildar Alyautdinov has said that the Russian Council of Ulema has adopted a decree allowing Muslims to circulate and invest in cryptocurrency under certain circumstances.

RT reported on December 22 last year that the Council of Ulema debated the issues of banking, family law, and blockchain from the perspective of Islamic law (Sharia) at its last meeting of 2023.  

The council “supports the development of internet technologies that lead to an improvement in people’s quality of life,” Alyautdinov told RIA Novosti in an interview, noting that is why they ruled that “the circulation and investment in cryptocurrency is permitted subject to a number of requirements.”

To be permissible, the cryptocurrency must be a commodity, currency, or financial asset, he explained.  Islamic scholars from Germany, Turkiye, Jordan, and Egypt also advised the Ulema in reaching this conclusion, Alyautdinov noted.

Meanwhile, the Central Bank of the Russian Federation opposes encouraging and allowing the use of cryptocurrencies inside Russia.

The issue of cryptocurrencies has long been controversial in Islamic law.  Some scholars approve of their use since they do not generate interest, while others have opposed them because they amount to speculation.  Both concepts are considered “haram” – forbidden – under Sharia.