Indonesia, the fourth most populous country in the world and the largest economy in Southeast Asia, has witnessed significant industrialization and economic growth in recent decades. Despite facing challenges during the Asian Financial Crisis, Indonesia has emerged as one of the fastest-growing emerging market nations, boasting an annual GDP growth rate of 6% and ranking seventh globally in terms of purchasing power parity. While the country has historically relied on state-owned enterprises and public sector spending, the private sector has gained momentum in recent years.
The adoption of cryptocurrency and fintech projects holds great potential for Indonesia’s continued development. Although the lessons learned from the Asian Financial Crisis have instilled caution, attracting foreign investment capital could sustain or even accelerate Indonesia’s impressive growth rate. Recognizing the need for sensible policies surrounding blockchain technology, Indonesia’s centralized powers have shifted their stance and now strive to facilitate the safe and sustainable growth of this new technology. With its current ranking of 32nd out of 154 countries in terms of cryptocurrency adoption, Bitcoin Indonesia is thriving.
If you are an Indonesian citizen seeking to participate in the dynamic world of cryptocurrency, this article aims to provide information on the regulatory environment and guide you on purchasing Bitcoin within Indonesia using your bank account or credit/debit card.
Bitcoin Under Regulatory Scrutiny
In recent months, the central bank of Indonesia has exhibited reluctance to recognize cryptocurrency as a valid payment method. In January 2018, Bank Indonesia issued warnings about the dangers and potential risks associated with Bitcoin, specifically scrutinizing its use on the popular tourist destination of Bali. To assess the situation, the bank formed a secret task force in late 2017, ultimately requesting that Balinese businesses cease accepting Bitcoin without imposing an outright ban.
However, increased scrutiny often leads to a better understanding of the subject matter. In February 2018, the Jakarta Post published an article highlighting the growing awareness of cryptocurrencies among Indonesian officials. Former Indonesian Minister of Finance, Chatib Basri, acknowledged the ineffectiveness of ignoring cryptocurrencies and advocated for understanding and embracing distributed ledger technology. Basri even suggested the possibility of Bank Indonesia issuing its own surveilled cryptocurrency to better assess future risks and potentially benefit from the technology.
Bitcoin as a Recognized Commodity
Early 2018 marked a turning point, as it became evident that cryptocurrency trading and investment in Indonesia would soon surpass stock market participation. The Indonesian Digital Asset Exchange, previously known as Bitcoin.co.id, projected reaching 1.5 million members by the end of 2018, surpassing the 1.2 million registered traders on the Indonesia Stock Exchange, which has a century-long history.
Further good news for cryptocurrency adoption came in June 2018 when the Indonesian Futures Exchange Supervisory Board (BAPPEBTI) declared cryptocurrencies as commodities. This decision allowed the establishment of futures markets for cryptocurrencies within the country, akin to the CBOE and CME Bitcoin futures in the United States. Following a four-month investigation into cryptocurrencies, this legislation was formalized in February 2019, providing regulatory clarity.
In 2019, Tokocrypto, an Indonesian cryptocurrency exchange, obtained regulatory approval from BAPPEBTI, ensuring its legal and secure operations. The partnership between Tokocrypto and one of the world’s largest crypto exchanges to launch a Rupiah-denominated and backed stablecoin in June 2020 further emphasizes the government’s acceptance of integration between the Indonesian monetary system and cryptocurrency.
Indonesia’s journey with cryptocurrency has seen a shift in regulatory attitudes, from skepticism to recognition of its potential economic benefits. The country’s commitment to fostering a safe and sustainable environment for blockchain technology and cryptocurrency adoption demonstrates its progressive approach. As an Indonesian citizen, you can participate in the cryptocurrency space with confidence, knowing that regulatory measures are being