Billions of muslims across the world can now perform their religious obligation with bitcoin following the addition of the cryptocurrency for payment at the Malaysia based zakat service GlobalSadaqah.
Like the tithe for christians, the zakat is effectively a religious tax that obliges the giving of 2.5% of wealth a year to charities and/or poor people or people in need.
An estimated $200 million worth of bitcoin is due in zakat, based on “a conservative assumption that just 5% of [bitcoin] is owned by Muslims,” according to a press release.
GlobalSadaqah works with numerous vetted charities and provides numerous options to pay the zakat obligation which then goes to the charities.
That includes bitcoin with the process fairly simple in that you choose the bitcoin option after signing up, followed by scanning the QR code or you can copy the address and more manually send, all as usual.
What is maybe a bit new here and might become a more familiar screenshot is the use of BTCPay as a processor, and you can also pay with the lightning network (LN).
Pretty cool because with LN you could potentially have a subscription model, so allowing you to pay the zakat more gradually instead of all in one go.
“We are planning to add other cryptos, however, we are not sure exactly when they will be supported,” a representative told Trustnodes.
This is a new service, so only 0.1 BTC (circa $1,000) has been received so far with about all of it paid through the Lightning Network by five donors.
They may receive more bitcoin in the coming days because tonight is a holy night in the islamic world as it is the night of Qadr.
That being the night when the angel came to the last prophet and said Iqra, read, followed then by the gradual revelation of the Quran some 1,600 years ago.
Instead of a fixed date like in the sun based calendar, the islamic world follows moon cycles, meaning this night moves by about ten days every year.
As does ramadan, which is now beginning to enter its last ten days, with charitable giving being highest during that period.
Bitcoin Turtling Into the Islamic World
Bitcoin has been moving into the islamic world only for the past two years following a declaration of sharia compliant by Blossom Finance of Indonesia which said:
“Blockchain gives you mathematical proof of ownership and that’s overall much more in line with the spirit of Islamic finance than any digital fiat money.”
That ended a debate that was occurring at the time in the Islamic world with now even mosques directly accepting bitcoin.
Blossom Finance has been assisting charities with accepting bitcoin directly for the fulfillment of the zakat obligation, but apparently awareness and general knowledge is growing somewhat slowly as you’d expect for a brand new asset.
That’s especially in particular because the older generation is not too familiar with it, but that’s gradually changing.
It’s changing in regards to Islamic charity specifically but also in regards to charity in general with experiments going on to potentially furnish poor people in the developing world with bank like functionalities through crypto wallets.
Generally that may not lead to much directly, but it can be a fun and cool way to educate people about finance with bitcoin being a gateway ‘drug’ to stocks and bonds and the entire financial system.
That’s because its main use case does remain savings, with bitcoin doing perhaps more than any bank or government to get people to keep some funds for a rainy day.
Its second use case is probably international trade, with bitcoin’s global nature outside of the banking system allowing for the greater integration of some economies and the cutting of some red tape like capital controls.
So in a way bitcoin itself is a ‘charity,’ which would have served the Lebanese for example quite considerably if they used some bitcoin in addition to fiat instead of keeping all their eggs in their now collapsed national money.