A leading Muslim cleric in Egypt, the Grand Mufti, has issued an edict prohibiting transactions using the Bitcoin digital currency.

In the fatwa published on Monday, Shawki Ibrahim Abdel-Karim Allam said Muslims were not permitted to sell, buy or rent using bitcoins.

He said using digital currency risked fraud and cheating, and its high risk volatility could cause harm to individuals and nations.

The Grand Mufti said he had sought the help of economic experts before coming to his decision.

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