The IFG Halal Crypto List.

We noticed there isn’t (yet) an official sharia standard for cryptocurrencies. So to help everyone out, we are sharing our own sharia screening of the top 50 cryptocurrencies. This is a live list that will be added to inshAllah.

To be clear – this has not been reviewed by muftis – this is our own live working draft to guide our own investing. Last updated 16 February 2021.

By the way – we’re launching an IFG Crypto Course with a mufti. Sign up to the waitlist below.

Top 50 Cryptocurrencies by Market Cap

RankNameTickerTypeHalal?Whitepaper LinkSharia AnalysisWhere can I buy it?IFG Holding
1BitcoinBTCCryptocurrencyYeshereBTC is a straightforward cryptocurrency and has been deemed permissible by many scholars (though some do disagree. See this article). It is best understood at this point as a digital asset (as opposed to a currency just yet) and as such delayed delivery/receipt of BTC is permissible.hereYes
2EthereumETHCryptocurrencyYeshereSimilar analysis to BTChereNo
3TetherUSDTStablecoinGreyhereTether claims to be backed 1:1 by USD, but based on news stories and legal filings, this is not the case and the company behind Tether have been lending out the money generated by Tether coins to generate profit (from interest) so that each Tether is only backed 75% by USD. That alone is probably not enough to deem it haram, but there are serious question marks over Tether, supporting their (essentially) banking business model, and from a moral perspective we're not sure reverting back to the interest-based model of making money is the right way forward.hereNo
4XRPXRPCryptocurrencyYeshereSimilar analysis to BTChereNo
5LitecoinLTCCryptocurrencyYesNoneSimilar analysis to BTChereNo
6Bitcoin CashBCHCryptocurrencyYeshereSimilar analysis to BTChereNo
7CardanoADACryptocurrencyYeshereSimilar analysis to BTChereNo
8PolkadotDOTCryptocurrency-AdjacentYeshereThe DOT token is simply an agnostic token that allows you to transact within the Polkadot ecosystem however the idea is that lots of external third parties can plug and use this ecosystem to transact. Fundamentally, the more people use this ecosystem, the greater the liquidity and demand for the DOT token. One point to bear in mind from a sharia perspective is if one ecosystem becomes overwhelmingly linked with a haram industry then there may be an issue. However right now its all too early to make such a judgement call.hereNo
9ChainlinkLINKCryptocurrency-AdjacentYeshereSimilar analysis to DOThereNo
10Binance CoinBNBCryptocurrencyYeshereSimilar analysis to BTChereNo
11StellarXLMCryptocurrency-AdjacentYeshereSimilar analysis to DOThereNo
12USD CoinUSDCStablecoinYeshereUnlike Tether, USDC doesn't have any reputational clouds hanging over it, and the people behind it are people who benefit from the infrastructure of crypto - and as such they don't have a strong incentive (like the Tether company) to work out a way to make money from this cryptocurrency (i.e. by lending it out).hereNo
13Wrapped BitcoinWBTCCryptocurrencyYeshereSimilar analysis to BTChereNo
14Bitcoin SVBSVCryptocurrencyYeshereSimilar analysis to BTChereNo
15MoneroXMRCryptocurrencyGreyhereMonero is a privacy-focused coin (so you can't see source, amount destination as an outsider), which, inevitably, has seen strong uptake from criminal elements. From a sharia perspective there is nothing technically wrong with holding a coin that others use for criminal enterprises, however from a taqwa perspective we would be uncomfortable adding liquidity (and value) to a currency that is gaining most of its traction by the degree of uptake it is getting in the criminal world.hereNo
16EOSEOSCryptocurrencyYeshereSimilar analysis to BTChereNo
17TRONTRXCryptocurrencyYeshereSimilar analysis to BTChereNo
18NEMXEMCryptocurrencyYeshereSimilar analysis to BTChereNo
19TezosXTZCryptocurrencyYeshereSimilar analysis to BTChereNo
20ThetaTHETACryptocurrencyYeshereTHETA aims to reward users with THETA tokens for opening up their free CPU resource so that video streaming services can be provided without lag/glitches etc. The underlying issue is that last-mile-delivery on video streaming is poor and THETA can help provide the computational resource to help solve that. This is all fine. Where it gets a little bit greyer is THETA being used within the video ecosystem itself. Ultimately my view is that this is fine too, but one to keep an eye on, in case THETA suddenly has mass adoption by illicit streaming sites etc.hereNo
21NeoNEOCryptocurrencyYeshereSimilar analysis to BTChereNo
22VeChainVETCryptocurrencyYeshereSimilar analysis to BTChereNo
23Crypto.com CoinCROCryptocurrencyYes (just about)hereCRO broadly has a similar analysis as that applied to BTC. However the reason for our "just about" comment is that CRO is part of the Crypto.com ecosystem which plans to introduce a range of yield farming and lending features/products as part of the value-add for CRO. Ultimately, the CRO use case is not inextricably linked to the haram elements of Crypto.com's plans so we can get comfortable with holding CRO, however where the haram elements of the business become a key driver for CRO's value, caution/taqwa would suggest exiting your position at that point.hereNo
24UniswapUNIDeFiYes (just about)hereUNI is a token for a project that essentially doubles up as a broker-less crypto exchange platform. Think coinbase, but automated and without a central clearing authority. So far so good. But the issue here is that UNI structure relies on people to contribute in their coins (and get paid a fee for this) into the system to provide liquidity. Exchanging using Uniswap itself is fine. But that is not the question here. The question is whether UNI itself is inextricably structured to be used in a way that ends up being sharia-non-compliant. The key issue is the contribution of coins to provide liquidity. Either we view this as some form of lending out or we see it as taking an equity-like position or revenue-sharing position that someone. On the basis that fundamentally each contract does not diminish with each exchange (rather it is balanced out with the new coin that is entered in) we consider uniswap to be using a form of revenue-sharing or taking mini-equity-like positions in each Exchange Contract.hereNo
25AaveAAVEDeFiNohereAAVE is a lending ecosystem designed to help holders of cryptocurrency lend their coins out for a higher return. The crucial thing here is that a cryptocurrency is borrowed and then more of that cryptocurrency is returned. That is straightforwardly riba and not permissible. AAVE itself is not a haram asset per se, but our (cautious) view is that it is so inextricably linked up in its very origination as something that gets value from lending activity, that it is not something to support by even holding AAVE.hereNo
26SynthetixSNXDeFiNohereThe entire basis for SNX is to enable the Synthetix ecosystem which is a derivatives trading system. Derivatives are not permissible according to most Islamic scholars and doing it via a DeFi model doesn't fundamentally change the fiqhi analysis.hereNo
27MakerMKRDeFiYes (just about)hereThe core attraction of this token is that you get paid a stability fee when crypto assets are stored in a Maker Vault. This is a % amount on the amount you store. We have understood this to be a storage fee as opposed to interest, as the money is being paid by the depositor, not the vault. However the problem is that you only deposit things to allow you to make DAI. Ultimately we can get comfortable with this due to two things. Firstly the repayment amounts are in different cryptocurrencies to those in the vault itself (and it is allowed to exchange different currencies at other than par value) and secondly as it genuinely appears that the stability fee is to allow the maintenance of the instrastructure of MAKER. We will keep this cryptocurrency under careful review as the use case develops.hereNo
28UNUS SED LEOLEOCryptocurrencyYeshereSimilar analysis to BTChereNo
29DaiDAIStablecoinYeshereSimilar analysis to BTC, but it is underpinned by a portion of USD. The Dai Savings Rate however is a separate concept that we have not commented on here.hereNo
30DashDASHCryptocurrencyGreyhereSimilar analysis to MonerohereNo
31CosmosATOMCryptocurrencyYeshereSimilar analysis to BTChereNo
32CelsiusCELDeFiNohereThe entire purpose of CEL tokens is to allow people to lend USD (or other cryptocurrencies) and for others to borrow that on interest. While technically, like for most of the interest-based lending crypto projects, it is possible to hold the token without earning interest (or donating it), the entire premise of the project is interest-based lending. Best avoided.hereNo
33DogecoinDOGECryptocurrencyYeshereSimilar analysis to BTChereNo
34ZcashZECCryptocurrencyGreyhereSimilar analysis to MonerohereNo
35Binance USDBUSDCryptocurrencyYeshereSimilar analysis to BTChereNo
36IOTAMIOTACryptocurrencyYeshereSimilar analysis to BTChereNo
37RevainREVCryptocurrencyYeshereSimilar analysis to BTChereNo
38Huobi TokenHTCryptocurrency-AdjacentYeshereHT is a token of the Huobi Mining Pool - which in turn is set up to mine different cryptocurrencies and earn money that way.hereNo
39FilecoinFILCryptocurrencyYeshereSimilar analysis to BTChereNo
40yearn.financeYFIDeFiNohereYFI is a token that is specifically designed to interact with a bunch of DeFIs (e.g. Aave, dydx and Compound) via its ecosystem. It is building in Yield (interest-based usually) and derivative functionality. hereNo
41Ethereum ClassicETCCryptocurrencyYeshereSimilar analysis to BTChereNo
42FTX TokenFTTDeFiNohereThis project is bringing leveraged/margin trading, short-selling and the general forex vibe to crypto. Gut instinct is to avoid at all costs.hereNo
43SolanaSOLCryptocurrencyYeshereSimilar analysis to BTChereNo
44CompoundCOMPCryptocurrencyNohereSimilar analysis to AavehereNo
45ZilliqaZILCryptocurrencyYeshereSimilar analysis to BTChereNo
46DecredDCRCryptocurrencyYeshereSimilar analysis to BTChereNo
47WavesWAVESCryptocurrency-AdjacentYeshereSimilar analysis to DOThereNo
48ElrondEGLDCryptocurrencyYeshereSimilar analysis to BTChereNo
49KusamaKSMCryptocurrency-AdjacentYeshereSimilar analysis to DOThereNo
50SushiSwapSUSHIDeFiYes (just about)NoneSimilar analysis to UNIhereNo
51Hedera HashgraphHBARCryptocurrency-AdjacentYeshereSimilar analysis to BTChereYes
52HorizenZENCryptocurrencyGreyhereSimilar analysis to MonerohereNo
53VergeXVGCryptocurrencyGreyhereSimilar analysis to MonerohereNo
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Further Details

Why Crypto

We think blockchain and crypto technology is going to give birth to a whole series of extremely pivotal technological developments over the coming decades. We want our community to be involved at the ground floor.

What is Crypto?

Check out our detailed crypto guide here.

Sharia Screening Methodology

The way we have approached this sharia screen was ask:

(a) is the technology underpinning the project intrinsically linked to a haram transaction? (e.g. interest-based lending);

(b) is the ecosystem that they are creating so inextricably tied up with illicit/immoral activities that it would be inappropriate to support (or profit from) such ecosystem?

(c) Are there any other technical/structural reasons why there could be concerns about this cryptocurrency?

We are aware that other scholars are now working on something more definitive, and we will very likely align our screen with those methods once they have been finalised.

How Can I Invest in Crypto?

There are two main brokers of Cryptocurrencies:

1. Coinbase

2. Binance

IFG Telegam Crypto Group

You should join our crypto community on Telegram here.

Got Questions?

You should ask on our Telegram group, check our crypto guide or ask on the IFG Forum.

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