A Turkish-owned mosque in London is adopting a tech-savvy approach as it becomes the first mosque in the world to accept cryptocurrencies for donations during Ramadan for Zakat and Sadaqah. Zakat is the compulsory giving of a portion of a person’s wealth to charity to achieve self-purification whereas Sadaqah is voluntary charity.
Gurmit Singh, founder of tech firm Combo Innovations saw both of them as good candidates for cryptocurrencies and is responsible for the whole change. He convinced the mosque chairman Erkin Guney to accept cryptocurrencies by explaining that they are commonly used by Muslims and would be particularly suited for Zakat.
“The technology can enable global penetration, reaching people that currently have limited access to traditional financing, yet have a smartphone. We believe the model will appeal to non-Muslims too.” Singh told CCN. The charitable use of technology is not something that has never been talked of before.
Charities Aid Foundation believes that the cryptocurrencies increase transparency and trust and can benefit the charities. Fidelity Charitable announced that it had received $69 million in cryptocurrency donations in the year 2017.
Fidelity Charitable vice president Amy Pirozzolo told CoinDesk: “It is one of the fastest growing assets that we are seeing wanting to be contributed to charity. Many people who own bitcoin or other forms of cryptocurrency do want to be philanthropic.”
On his part, Guney plans to put the crypto money toward philanthropic activities.“The zakat will be used to feed the poor in our local community and help others in need. We will also put a portion aside to help with the urgent renovations needed at the mosque,” said Guney.
He hopes that his example can inspire mosques and Islamic charities around the world. ”If the cryptocurrency campaign is a success and we do receive donations. If it works, I’m sure many other mosques and Islamic charities, not just in Britain but worldwide, will start doing the same.”
He firmly believes that the transparency in these transactions will benefit both the donors and the recipients and the number of donations will increase as people know that their donations will be used for a good cause.