Technically, bitcoin is an illegal tender in Indonesia, but that doesn’t seem to stop the Indonesian cryptocurrency ecosystem from prevailing amidst current predicaments. Founder of an Indonesian Bitcoin exchange, Tiyo Triyanto, claimed that Bitcoin utilisation has actually improved annually. Triyanto is the founder of Bitdoku which is Bitcoin exchange catering to the Indonesian market which looks promising.
“Daily bitcoin circulation numbers in Indonesia have only reached 150-200 bitcoins. Last year, it was around 10 bitcoins per day. The transaction values is around Rp 600,000 (~US$45).”
Furthermore, Triyanto added that early Bitcoin users, and of course, traders, have been keeping the Bitcoin network afloat. He claims that people are buying bitcoin now whilst it’s cheap, and sell them once the price goes up again. However, even with the pickup in the pacing of this versatile cryptocurrency, the developments seem to be unrecognised at the moment and are not gaining momentum in the media that it needs to.
Even Marcus Swanepoel, head of a S’pore-headquartered startup, BitX has observed an increase in the number of Bitcoin adopters in Indonesia. This is based on the rise of Bitcoin wallet downloads from the area. The phenomenon forced them to give some of their focus on the Indonesian market.
“We have seen a very good growth in adoption of the BitX Bitcoin wallets in Indonesia. And we plan to build on that to provide even better products and services to our Indonesian customers over the next year,” Swanepoel ratified.
However, the government of Indonesia is still strict on their stand against bitcoin with an issued warning last year from Bank Indonesia that bitcoin is actually in violation of some laws.
“Noting the Law no. 7 of 2011 on Currency and the Law. 23 of 1999 which was amended several times, most recently by Act No. 6 In 2009, Bank Indonesia stated that the virtual currency Bitcoin and other not constitute currency or legal tender in Indonesia. People are encouraged to be careful of Bitcoin and other virtual currency. All risks related to ownership, use Bitcoin borne by the owner, or user of virtual currency Bitcoin and others.”
With the community still in two-minds with the current predicament, it’s fortunate that the Central Bank hasn’t taken a hands on approach just yet. This gives a glimmer of hope for a possible future adoption of bitcoin in the country.