New research with leading Islamic finance professionals has revealed growing acceptance of crypto and digital assets, and rising interest in virtual reality among them.
This is a reversal of the skepticism that many Islamic finance professionals have hitherto displayed toward the emerging cryptocurrencies and digital assets revolution.
The research was conducted by IslamicMarkets.com, a leading platform that provides access to expert knowledge and financial opportunities, to support the Global Islamic Finance Forum 2022 (GIFF2022), the platform said in a statement on Tuesday.
The research was conducted among 346 leading Islamic finance professionals working across sectors including banking, insurance, asset management, asset ownership, private equity, regulation and fintech.
The event, with the theme, ‘Take the Reins’, is organised by the Association of Islamic Banking and Financial Institutions Malaysia (AIBIM), in partnership with Bank Negara Malaysia (the Central Bank of Malaysia). It aims to generate an active discourse on the work required to strengthen Islamic finance’s global leadership position.
The study found that nearly two out of three or 63 per cent of Islamic finance professionals, predict the level of adoption of crypto and digital assets in Islamic finance will increase over the next five years with 16% expecting a dramatic increase.
That rises to 70% those who say adoption of the Metaverse, or virtual reality, in the Islamic finance sector, will increase over the next three years. Twenty per cent of the respondents forecast a dramatic rise in the next evolution of the digital customer experience in Islamic finance.
The fact that leading Muslim-majority countries such as the UAE and Saudi Arabia will increasingly become key players in the crypto and digital asset sector is also helping to overcome scepticism.
The study, in addition, found that another reason for the adoption of crypto and digital assets in Islamic finance was that there are elements of cryptocurrencies, such as not paying interest in the case of Bitcoin, which appeal to Muslims.
Commenting on the research result, GIFF2022 Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Al Rajhi Bank Malaysia, Arsalaan Ahmed said, “The role of countries such as the UAE and Saudi Arabia in the crypto and digital asset sector highlights the interest in cryptocurrencies in the Muslim world.”