Turkey has claimed Bitcoin is in fact “not compatible” with Islam due to its government being unable to control it.
In a statement from a meeting of the state Directorate of Religious Affairs (Diyanet), lawmakers said that Bitcoin’s “speculative” nature meant that buying and selling it was inappropriate for Muslims.
“Buying and selling virtual currencies is not compatible with religion at this time because of the fact that their valuation is open to speculation. They can be easily used in illegal activities like money laundering, and they are not under the state’s audit and surveillance,” Euronews translates the statement republished by local news outlet Enson Haber.
Diyanet issued the guidance Nov. 24, several days prior to Bitcoin’s latest bull run which saw the virtual currency top $11,000 before falling 15 percent.
Turkey was previously a target of Bitcoin startups after the country infamously banned PayPal, but conditions have remained unstable.
BTCTurk, a Bitcoin exchange which temporarily shut down its operations in 2016, failed to find a banking partner after local institutions terminated its accounts without warning.
In terms of speculation meanwhile, traders may yet be apt to profit from the lira’s dismal performance, having lost half of its value against the US dollar since 2013.
Diyanet added that the same principles of “unsuitability” in particular applied to Ethereum.