Unexpected Candidate to Support Crypto - Mosque in UK
Masjid Ramadan or Shacklewell Lane Mosque in London seems like an unexpected candidate to drive crypto adoption forward, but that is exactly what they are doing. The mosque is set to become one of the first mosques to accept cryptocurrency for the mandatory almsgiving, zakat and sadaqah, CCN reported.
Zakat is mandatory in the religion: one of the five pillars of Islam, it acts as a form of tax, not charity, for those who meet the necessary criteria of wealth. It is based on income and the value of all of one's possessions, customarily 2.5% of total savings and wealth above a certain minimum amount. Since cryptocurrencies certainly are a possession falling under the “wealth” category and many Muslims use them, the mosque decided it would benefit from accepting it.
Shariah, the Muslim law, strictly forbids “impure” money such as that gained through usury, or lending at high rates of interest. Currencies not backed by commodities are forbidden as well, unless widely accepted by society.
Gurmit Singh, founder of Combo Innovations who will be handling the process of the mosque accepting crypto, told CCN, “From a financial perspective, the ethical aspects of an Islamic blockchain-enabled economy can help bring it into the 21st century. The technology can enable global penetration, reaching people that currently have limited access to traditional financing, yet have a smartphone.”
Meanwhile, the local Islamic community has decided that cryptocurrencies can be accepted as donations, so the mosque has set up Bitcoin and Ethereum wallets and added the addresses to their website. Mosque chairman Erkin Guney said, “The zakat will be used to feed the poor in our local community and help others in need. We will also put a portion aside to help with the urgent renovations needed at the mosque.”