Q&A with the CEO of Caizcoin, Philippe Theunissen
Caizcoin says it aims to provide ethical financial products and services to people worldwide while ensuring compliance with Islamic financial norms.
Founded in 2020, the company's name stems from the Arabic word 'Jaiz", which means lawful, trustworthy, and legal.
In this Q&A with Islam Channel, Philippe Theunissen, CEO Caiz, gives us the lowdown on cryptocurrency and explains what Caizcoin does.
Can you simplify and explain what cryptocurrency and blockchain are?
A cryptocurrency is a form of currency that only exists on the world wide web. The interesting fact is that you can buy things online but also in the real world too. The best part about cryptocurrencies is that it is not controlled by a single individual or group - it is decentralised. That means no one can tell you how much you can spend or take it away from you without your permission. It's also very secure since it uses an advanced algorithm to keep it safe from hackers and thieves.
Blockchain is the technology that powers all of this. It's like a massive digital database that records every digital currency transaction. Instead of being controlled by a single person or organisation, the ledger is saved on millions of computers spread around the world. Everyone can see what is going on, and no one can cheat or steal. Once anything is entered into the ledger, it cannot be modified or removed, making it extremely secure.
Since the ledger is stored in so many different places, it is extremely difficult for someone to hack or shut down the entire system. Aside from cryptocurrencies, blockchain technology has been used in a variety of different sectors to increase transaction transparency and efficiency.
Can you tell us a bit more about Caizcoin?
Caizcoin gives you the first full Islamic financial ecosystem at your fingertip. With all the elements of the Caiz ecosystem, you can make payments, store value and interact with the ethical financial products that will be built. All these by being Fiqh compliant, fast, secure, safe with inexpensive fees and environmentally friendly.
What makes Caizcoin different to other companies in the crypto space?
Caizcoin is designed and built to fulfil real-world needs. Given numerous barriers such as distance, operational costs and an infinite list of parameters to comply with, over 1.5 billion people are unable to access traditional financial services.
With Caizcoin, users finally have access to all the necessary financial tools, allowing them to trade in seconds while being environmentally responsible, having low transaction costs, and always adhering to Islamic financial principles. Caiz ensures that all its operations are in accordance with Islamic financial norms, significantly so that our operating system has been termed Fiqh-Compliant.
At Caizcoin we haven't stopped here, we developed a unique deflationary tokenomics. The amount of Caizcoin that is released depends on how many users have verified wallets inside our ecosystem; as more wallets are validated, the amount that is distributed decreases. To keep the value of the currency high, we also take care to only sell Caizcoin when the market is performing well.
Another unique feature of the Caiz Ecosystem is the deep integration of regulatory compliance. Every product and service in the Ecosystem is also regulated by financial authorities, giving our users additional peace of mind.
What is the aim of Caizcoin? What are its objectives?
Caizcoin's mission is to create a Fiqh-compliant financial ecosystem that provides our community fair and easy access to ethical financial products and services that give them the tools to build a strong financial future and engage in long term economically beneficial behaviour – from every part of the world.
There are 1.5 billion people who don't have or have very limited access to financial tools. We want to break down this barrier, ethically.
How do you ensure your products/services are Shariah compliant?
We are continuously advised and guided by well-respected and very knowledgeable scholars. Moreover, no haram activities are carried out on our platform, and we adhere to a profit-and-loss sharing model that promotes equity participation and risk sharing. We strive to create transactions that are fair and reasonable to all parties, resulting in win-win situations.
Zakat is one of our guiding principles, which we have included at several levels of our ecosystem. To make it simple and practical, our users can automatically designate a percentage of their earnings for Zakat, plus a portion of our own profits is also set aside for Zakat. We even incorporated Zakat into our tokenomics to ensure a portion of newly released Caizcoin is donated to the Caiz Charity. Our community decides then how to use it.
Also, we follow further Islamic principles which emphasise the security and accessibility of our users' belongings. Our coin recovery system ensures that customers' lost funds are recovered, and our inheritance planning function allows users to arrange for the transfer of their assets in the event of their passing.
How do you respond to those who are sceptical about the legitimacy of the crypto industry, particularly from an Islamic perspective? And what do you say to people who say it shares similar characteristics to a pyramid scheme?
It is normal to have doubts. Crypto is a new thing, many Islamic experts have investigated the nature of cryptocurrency and blockchain technology and there is a school of thought that says that cryptocurrency accord with Islamic ideals of justice, openness, and ethical conduct in financial transactions.
Understanding that cryptocurrency is not a pyramid scheme is key. In most countries, pyramid schemes are prohibited, and reputable cryptocurrency initiatives must comply with all applicable rules and regulations in the countries that are present.
Who should and who shouldn't invest in crypto products, given their specialist nature?
For those who wish to take part in a brand-new and fascinating financial environment, investing in cryptocurrencies opens a world of opportunity. Crypto has the capacity to remove obstacles like high entry rates and complicated regulatory guidelines that have historically made it challenging for consumers to engage in financial markets.
By investing in cryptocurrencies, users can gain access to a wide range of financial services and products that were previously either inaccessible or only available to a small group of people. Cryptocurrency also enables new forms of ownership and governance structures that allow users more control over their assets and decision-making procedures.
Philippe was on our Big Ramadan Show recently to talk about cryptocurrency and Caizcoin's ethos. You can watch it below: