Indonesia is the 4th most populated country in the world and has the largest economy in Southeast Asia. Formerly known as an agricultural producer, Indonesia has undergone industrialisation since the 60‘s. Although it suffered during the Asian Financial Crisis, Indonesia recovered to become one of the world’s fastest-growing emerging market nations, with annual GDP growth reaching 6% and ranked as 7th in the world in terms of purchasing power parity. Although Indonesia has a history of dependence on state-owned enterprises and public sector spending, in recent years the country’s private sector has taken off.
Greater adoption of cryptocurrency and fintech projects in general might just be what Indonesia needs to develop further. While the lessons of the Asian Financial Crisis will likely stem the worst excesses, an inflow of foreign investment capital could maintain or even accelerate Indonesia’s phenomenal growth rate. As a check on reckless speculation, many of Indonesia’s centralized powers were fairly sceptical towards blockchain technology and cautioned citizens against its risks. However, it does seem that such agencies have realised the need to formulate sensible policy regarding this new technology so that it grows in a safe and sustainable manner. Indonesia is currently ranked 32nd out of 154 countries for its rate of cryptocurrency adoption so it seems Bitcoin Indonesia is thriving.
If you’re an Indonesian citizen wishing to get involved in the dynamic world of cryptocurrency, this article will provide info on the regulatory environment as well as suggest how you can purchase Bitcoin within Indonesia using your bank account or, alternately, your credit or debit card
Bitcoin under Scrutiny
In recent months, there’s been marked reluctance by the central bank of Indonesia to approve cryptocurrency as a valid payment method. In January of 2018, Bank Indonesia even warned against the dangers of Bitcoin and the potential risks it poses to the public. The BI scrutinized the use of Bitcoin on the holiday island of Bali in particular, where it became a popular payment method for foreign tourists. The BI created a secret task force to study the situation in late 2017. As a result of their findings, the BI requested that Balinese businesses stop accepting Bitcoin, but stopped short of issuing a ban.
However, scrutiny of cryptos can also lead to better understanding. In February of 2018, the Jakarta Post published an article on how crypto awareness is spreading among Indonesian officialdom. Quoted in the article is the former Indonesian Minister of Finance, Chatib Basri, who acknloweldged that ignoring cryptocurrencies is an ineffective policy, as it cannot be effectively restricted. Mr Basri further stated that by understanding and embracing aspects of distributed ledger technology, the country could better assess the future risks of cryptos, and perhaps even profit thereby. Mr Basri even suggested that the BI should issue its own, surveilled cryptocurrency.
Bitcoin as a Commodity
In early 2018, it became apparent that crypto trading and investment in Indonesia will soon become more popular than stocks. The Indonesian Digital Asset Exchange, previously Bitcoin.co.id, anticipates 1.5 million members by the end of 2018, more than the 1.2 million traders registered with the Indonesia Stock Exchange, which has been around for more than a century.
More good news for Indonesian crypto adoption was reported in June of 2018, when the Indonesian Futures Exchange Supervisory Board (BAPPEBTI) announced that cryptocurrencies will be regarded as commodities. This will enable futures markets to be established for cryptos in the country, similar to the CBOE and CME Bitcoin futures in the US. This decision was not made lightly, coming only after a four-month investigation into cryptos. This legislation was formalized in February of 2019, providing regulatory clarity.
In 2019, an Indonesian crypto exchange, Tokocrypto, was approved for operations by BAPPEBTI. It is necessary for Indonesian crypto companies to receive such regulatory approval to ensure their operations are legal and secure. One of the world’s largest crypto exchanges partnered with Tokocrypto to launch a Rupiah-denominated and backed stablecoin in June of 2020. This development sends a very clear message that integration between the Indonesian monetary system and cryptocurrency is acceptable to the government.
Buying Your Bitcoin
Coinmama allows you to purchase bitcoin seamlessly, using your debit or credit card. This process is open to anyone in Indonesia using a bank transfer or any credit or debit card issued by either VISA or MasterCard. Just follow these simple steps:
Step 1 – Create Your Coinmama Account
1. Head to the main corporate header menu and select the light blue “Sign Up” tab at the top right (or click here). Note: if you already have an account, just sign in via the “Log In” button with your existing login details (or click here).
2. Enter your email, password, first name, last name and your country of residence.
3. Look for an email from Coinmama asking you to confirm your account. Click the link in the email to complete the registration process.
** Note: for more information on how to create an account with us, click here.
Step 2 – Get Verified for Purchase
1. To purchase bitcoin (BTC), you first need to become verified.
2. It’s necessary to enter your personal information and upload your ID or passport, plus various other documents depending on which level of verification you wish to reach.
Our verification team works 6:00-23:00 UTC. If everything looks ok, you should be verified in about fifteen minutes during working hours, or as soon as we’re back at our desks. If we have a question about your documents or need more information, we’ll let you know. Once your account is verified, you’re ready to buy Bitcoin!
**Note: for further help with account verification, please click here.
Step 3 – Place your first order
1. Once signed in and verified, click the “Buy” button and select “Bitcoin”.
2. Next, choose the amount you would like to buy. You can select a package, or enter the fiat amount or crypto quantity you’d like to buy of up to roughly $5,000 (as of the time of writing) for card purchases or $15,000 for wire transfer purchases.
3. Supply your Bitcoin wallet address. If you’re unsure what this is, please check out this article. The address you enter is where we’ll send the coins which you buy. You can re-use this address for subsequent purchases or get a new one from your wallet, at your discretion.
4. Then, select the “Go to Payment” button.
Step 4 – Complete your Checkout
1. Select your payment method. Users worldwide can choose to buy bitcoin with a credit card, debit card, bank transfer and now Apple Pay.
2. Enter your payment details and click the “Buy” button.
Note: For card purchases, kindly note that only cards issued by VISA or MasterCard are accepted. As for wire transfers, they usually take 1-2 business days to post. This means that when paying via wire transfer, you will get the rate at the time your money arrives at our account. This means that during times of high price volatility, you may get a rather different Bitcoin amount (either more or less) than expected.
Once payment has been made, our BTC transaction to your wallet’s address then needs to be confirmed by the Bitcoin network. In approximately 10 minutes, a Bitcoin payment will be broadcast from Coinmama’s wallet to the Bitcoin address you supplied in Step 3, point 3.
Note that during times of especially high traffic, your transaction may take longer than normal to appear as confirmed within your wallet. Ordinarily, the transaction will be confirmed within 10 minutes. For large amounts, this might take a little longer (up to an hour).
It’s still to be seen what new regulations the government in Indonesia will pass regarding Bitcoin and other cryptos. However, it’s encouraging to know that such a large developing nation already has such wide support for crypto. Hopefully by using this guide you can become part of this global trend by purchasing your very own bitcoin through Coinmama.