Cryptocurrencies are compatible with Shariah law in most cases, except where they are banned by local laws, according to the findings of a study published this week. The 22-page document, which was prepared by Indonesia\u2019s Blossom Finance, examined whether cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin was compliant with Shariah, an important part of Islamic tradition and practice. The report concluded that cryptocurrencies can be considered Islamic money, assuming it is permitted locally. Islamic finance operates differently from mainstream banking, and is derived from Shariah law. For example, collecting interest is forbidden, known as \u2018riba,\u2019 as well as applying unique rules for leasing, sharing profits, and more. With the growth in cryptocurrency in recent years, the question has become more pressing, particularly for Muslim investors and cryptocurrency enthusiasts. There has even been a fatwa issued against Bitcoin from Egypt\u2019s leading Islamic cleric, which had previously cast doubt on whether cryptocurrencies could be Shariah compliant. However, according to the report from Blossom\u2019s founder Matthew J. Martin, and their Shariah compliance officer Mufti Muhammad Abu Bakar, cryptocurrencies do in-fact fall on the right side of the law. Martin said, \u201cContrary to popular myth, Shariah law is not a single set of rules; it\u2019s is a scholarly field subject to differing interpretations and opinions on various matters...Several recent fatawah issued by prominent Muslim scholars offered incomplete or contradictory opinions on the topic. With all the confusion out there, we wanted to offer clear guidance supported by solid research that benefits both laypeople and practitioners of Islamic finance.\u201d The report also recognises the superiority of national laws, and the differences this can make for Muslims and Islamic financial practitioners around the world. It suggested, for example, that because Bitcoin is legal tender in Germany, Muslims in Germany would be permitted under Shariah law. Wherever cryptocurrency is recognised as \u2018customary money,\u2019 it can be deemed in compliance, according to their findings. While the position is hotly debated between Islamic scholars, the report will be welcomed for bringing some clarification, and offering some justification for cryptocurrencies compliant with the Shariah law. Their report goes a stage further, suggesting that rather than cryptocurrencies, it is conventional banking that is contrary to Shariah principles. \u201cBlockchains prove ownership of the asset\u2014it proves you actually have the money you\u2019re sending in a transaction. Conventional banking literally loans money into existence, and that is completely incompatible with the Shariah principles of money," Martin said.