With Iran’s cryptocurrency waiting for approval from the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) the International Business Forum (IBF) has called for a single cryptocurrency for all Muslim nations.
The concept has been kickstarted by Iran’s current move to alleviate its sanctions dilemma, attempting to combat what it sees as the dominance of the US dollar in world trade by launching its own national cryptocurrency.
The IBF, a Muslim-focused business lobby group, claims that the dollar is being used more of a sanctioning tool rather than a purposeful financial device. The Group’s chairman Erol Yarar is calling for changes to the status quo in international trade, commenting:
“In IBF this year we will discuss the term ‘monetary pluralism’ to create a fairer and healthier trade environment…We will make a cryptocurrency system, that will be used for international trade among Islamic countries, a current issue.”
This call for an Islamic cryptocurrency is only possible now that that recent discussions in the Muslim world have satisfied Islamic countries around the world that digital currency use in no way conflicts with Sharia Law. Matthew J. Martin of Blossom Finance, a fintech startup based in Indonesia clarifies the position:
“As a payment network, Bitcoin is halal. In fact, Bitcoin goes beyond what more conventional closed banking networks offer. Unlike conventional bank networks which use private ledgers where there’s no guarantee that the originator actually owns the underlying assets, Bitcoin guarantees with mathematical certainty that the originator of the transfer owns the underlying assets. Conventional banks operate using the principle of fractional reserve, which is prohibited in Islam.”
Yarar argues that an internationally recognized Islamic cryptocurrency for all Muslim countries around the globe is essential in order for the nations adopting it to “undermine and challenge America’s established hegemony in the global financial system”.
Iran has suggested that its new, as yet unnamed national cryptocurrency will bring “enlightenment” to their economy. When the currency is finally issued to banking institutions, plans for testing payments and internal and interbank transactions will be the first task for Iran’s banking sector before it goes live.
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