Islamic-compliant Cryptocurrency Exchange Certified
Islamic Finance and FinTech

Islamic-compliant Cryptocurrency Exchange Certified

By Jonathan Lawrence

Rain, a cryptocurrency exchange in Bahrain has received a Shari’a compliance certification from Shariyah Review Bureau (SRB).  SRB is licensed by the Central Bank of Bahrain as a Shari’a advisory firm authorised to issue Shari’a compliance certifications.  SRB reviewed Rain’s brokerage service and determined that the sale, purchase and custodian activities of Rain are in compliance with Shari’a principles.  The Shari’a certification covers three cryptocurrencies (bitcoin, ethereum, and litecoin). Rain aims to enable family offices, investors and Islamic institutional investors to buy, sell and store cryptocurrency in an Islamic-compliant way.

Rain was co-founded in 2017 by blockchain professionals from Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Silicon Valley.  In September of that year, Rain was invited to join the Central Bank of Bahrain’s regulatory sandbox.  It was the first digital currency exchange to be admitted to the sandbox – but since then four more have joined including UAE’s BitOasis.  However, many governments in the Middle East (including those of Saudi, Egypt and Morocco) have officially banned cryptocurrencies, urging residents not to invest in them.

Islamic Finance and FinTech

By Jonathan Lawrence

FinTech and Islamic finance techniques are both disrupting traditional structures in the conventional financial industry. Therefore it is appropriate that companies, investors and consumers aiming to be Islamic-compliant are able to use technology to increase access to financing structures that accord with their beliefs or those of their markets in the Muslim and non-Muslin worlds.

Mobile based Islamic-compliant banking is on the rise, especially among those who were previously unbanked for logistical or religious reasons. Among the most prominent disruptive ventures in Islamic finance is Dubai-based Beehive, a platform that aims to provide low-cost alternative financing to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and is the first peer-to-peer lending platform in the world to have received independent Shariah certification for its investments. Beehive has so far provided more than $4bn in financing for SMEs in the United Arab Emirates.

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