In the Islamic world, attitudes to cryptocurrencies are varied and fluctuating. The use of cryptocurrencies has grown quickly in certain countries in the Middle East and North Africa area while remaining stagnant in others. Due to this particular complexity of opinions even among the Islamic scholars, the CBDC designs have to stay within the parameters of the Shariah laws.
Less than 2% of global finance is made up by the Islamic financial system which includes Iran and Sudan who have a complete Islamic financial system, yet it is present in 34 nations and has systemic significance in 15 jurisdictions. Reflecting on the reports, ten nations with a significant Islamic financial presence, including Iran, are now debating CBDCs.
According to research released by the International Monetary Fund, a central bank’s digital currency can affect monetary policy even when it is not intended to do so through boosting money velocity, disintermediation, volatility of bank reserves, currency substitution, and changed capital flows. The Islamic financial system may be particularly sensitive to the unforeseen effects of a CBDC.
The report discovered that the danger of bank disintermediation is enhanced since neither deposits in Islamic-finance banks nor a halal CBDC (compatible with Islamic law) would pay interest. There is an excess of liquid cash left in Islamic banks due to their lack of infrastructure.
It states that, “Conventional mechanisms of liquidity management interbank market, secondary market financial instruments, central bank discount window and Lender of Last Resort (LOLR) that are based on interest are not permissible for Islamic banks.” This is due to the Islamic rules on money lending and speculation. Moreover, the restriction on speculating “implies that CBDC cannot be utilised for transactions involving foreign exchange derivatives.”
The report also adds that, “Islamic liquidity management instruments continue to develop slowly due to unsupportive regulations, sharia-compliance complexities, limited standardisation, the small number of Islamic banks and the underdeveloped financial sectors in many of the countries.”
Even with reports going on about the U.S. government’s negative stance on CBDC, various governments around the world have moved on with this new adoption of central digital cash. The past two years have seen a change in the dynamics around the world in regards to digital adoption. To date, a total of eleven countries have completely established their digital currency.
However, the proposed CBDC design characteristics for the Islamic laws of holding caps and CBDC remuneration can reduce the hazards of disintermediation, they are insufficient in such complex conditions. The nations that have banking systems that are dominated by tiny retail deposits and demand deposits, low levels of digital payments, and shaky economic fundamentals are the most susceptible.