Saudi senior Islamic scholar Sheikh Abdullah Al-Manea said that using Bitcoin is utterly haram (forbidden) and the currency has no value or worth. Sheikh Al-Manea, who is a member of the Saudi Council of Senior Scholars and an Adviser to the Royal Court, made these remarks in an interview with Rotana Khalijia TV (Saudi Arabia) that aired on April 15, 2021. He said that using Bitcoin constitutes gambling and "taking people's money through falsehood."
Interviewer: "I have a question regarding digital cryptocurrency, especially Bitcoin: What does the shari'a say about trading in this currency, and does it have actual value or not?"
Sheikh Abdullah Al-Manea: "Not at all. It has no actual value, and moreover... Let me ask you this: if I had 10 million [BTC], for example, but I cannot find anyone to trace it back to, what value do these 10 million have? What if I cannot find anyone to trace it back to or anyone who will accept it from me?"
Interviewer: "But this currency is accepted and can be verified, exchanged, and evaluated."
Al-Manea: "This [currency] exchange is a matter that requires assurances. You cannot know... if tomorrow something happens that invalidates it, who would it be traced back to? It cannot be traced back to anyone.
"It must have a certain body that can provide collateral for it."
Interviewer: "It must have a country behind it, or else it is no good?"
Al-Manea: "It must have a country behind it or someone that can provide collateral. Does this Bitcoin have someone that can provide collateral for it? Not at all.
"This constitutes gambling. This one takes so and so, and that one... Even if it is not actual gambling, it falls under the definition of 'taking people's money through falsehood.'"
Interviewer: "Do you consider Bitcoin to be haram?"
Al-Manea: "I consider it to be utterly haram, and taking people's money through falsehood. In fact, it has no value."