Barely two months after announcing that it would start accepting donations in cryptocurrency, East London’s Shacklewell Lane Mosque has received more contributions in cryptocurrency compared to cash.
According to iNews, the Dalston, East London-based mosque collected donations amounting to approximately £13,983 in cryptocurrency. This was four times more than the value of contributions that were received in cash – £3,460. During the Muslim fasting period of Ramadhan, 24 cryptocurrency donations were received by the mosque. One individual gave as much as £5,200 in cryptocurrencies. Per the mosque’s website, the accepted cryptocurrencies are Bitcoin and Ethereum.
The chairman of the mosque, Erkin Guney, expressed excitement at the initiative’s success despite the fact that there was a lot of skepticism initially.
“When the donations started to flow in, we were blown away. We received four times more in cryptocurrency donations than in cash from our local worshippers during Ramadan, and we are still receiving cryptocurrency Sadaqah [voluntary donations]. It is amazing!” Guney told iNews.
Shacklewell Lane Mosque first announced that they would be experimenting with cryptocurrency donations on May 21, a few days after the annual fasting period had started.
While Sadaqah is voluntary, Zakat is obligatory for all financially able Muslims with the qualifying members of the faith required to give 2.5% of their wealth annually to assist the less fortunate in the society.
According to Guney, the idea of accepting cryptocurrencies came about when Gurmit Singh, the founder of blockchain firm Combo Innovations, suggested that it would benefit the mosque to welcome such donations since a lot of Muslims were using crypto anyway.
And by allowing contributions to be made in cryptocurrencies it would be convenient for donors who already held digital assets since they wouldn’t have to go through the hassle of converting their holdings into U.S. dollars or Sterling pounds prior to giving. The mosque also saw an opportunity of being able to receive donations from across the globe.
At the time, the local financial institutions didn’t have cryptocurrency expertise and the responsibility fell on Singh to offer the necessary advice on receiving, storing and selling cryptocurrencies. As CCN has previously reported, the blockchain technology firm Combo Innovation undertook the implementation of Crypto Zakat and Crypto Sadaqah. The main Islamic advisor of Shacklewell Lane Mosque, Zayd al Khair, was also heavily involved.
The cryptocurrency donations that Shacklewell Lane Mosque has received will go towards feeding and sheltering the homeless in the local area as well as conducting needed mosque repairs.
Featured image from Geograph/ Dr Neil Clifton.