Legitimizing Crypto in Indonesia: A Game-Changer for Global Finance


As one of the countries with the largest populations in the world, Indonesia has reached a significant milestone in the history of global financial technology. Indonesia has 17,4 Million Crypto investors by May 2023.  The country recently inaugurated its first crypto exchange, giving recognition and legitimacy to digital currencies as a legitimate investment instrument. This constitutes the first crypto exchange in the world. This move also reaffirms Indonesia’s position as a significant player in the global crypto ecosystem.

This initiative was taken by the Commodity Futures Trading Regulatory Agency (Bappebti) of Indonesia, with the primary aim of providing legal certainty and protection for investors. Furthermore, with the existence of exchanges, clearing, and asset storage managers, public accessibility to crypto assets is expected to increase, ensuring security and comfort for its users.

The crypto exchange provides numerous new opportunities for both investors and the government. For investors, legal certainty paves the way for increased participation in the crypto ecosystem. Meanwhile, for the government, this recognition provides access to apply tax rules on crypto transactions, which is expected to boost state revenue from this new sector.

Even though crypto possesses a decentralized and anonymous nature, this does not mean that crypto transactions cannot be regulated or taxed. The government still has the capacity to supervise and regulate crypto exchanges, including decentralized exchanges (DEXs).

With this step, Indonesia has made history and opened the door for other countries to follow in its footsteps. The crypto community in Indonesia hopes that this recognition can strengthen Indonesia’s position as a trading center and innovator of digital currencies in Southeast Asia or ASEAN.

While there are many benefits, the challenges on this journey cannot be ignored. One of the main challenges is how the government can ensure that investors, especially those less experienced, are protected from volatile market risks. Public education about how to invest wisely in crypto, transparency and accountability from all parties involved in this ecosystem, are key factors in ensuring the healthy and sustainable growth of the crypto market.

In the future, the government needs to continue to strive to strengthen infrastructure and regulations around crypto. Adequate knowledge about the risks and benefits of crypto investment also needs to be conveyed to the public. In addition, the government must pursue international cooperation in the formation of global standards and a framework for crypto regulation.

Indonesia has shown initiative and vision in embracing this new technology. This marks the beginning of a new era in the digital economy, where Indonesia is not only a crypto trading hub in Southeast Asia but also a center of innovation and growth for the global crypto industry. As a country that now has an official crypto exchange, Indonesia also needs to consider various other important aspects. For example, ensuring that this exchange meets good security and governance standards. Building investor trust is key to success in this industry. Therefore, protecting customer personal data and assets is crucial.

It must also be remembered that crypto is not a risk-free investment. High price volatility and other risk factors such as fraud and hacking must be recognized. Therefore, public education on how to invest wisely in crypto is crucial. The public should be given adequate knowledge to make the right investment decisions. The government and educational institutions can hold webinars and online seminars on the basics of crypto investment. Topics that can be discussed include what crypto is, how it works, and the risks and potential returns of crypto investment.

Other things that can be done are organizing practical training and workshops on how to invest in the crypto market. This training can include how to choose a crypto trading platform, how to buy and sell crypto, and how to secure crypto assets. This education can be done collaboratively by Bappeti, OJK, and associations such as Aspakrindo, and exchange companies that have received permission in Indonesia such as Indodax, Binance, Pintu etc.

In addition, through this crypto exchange, the government can also take proactive steps in combating financial crimes related to digital currencies, such as money laundering and terrorism financing. This can be done by implementing strict KYC (Know Your Customer) and AML (Anti-Money Laundering) rules.

It’s important to remember that while regulations can provide a safer and more controlled environment for the use and trade of cryptocurrencies, they also need to be balanced with the freedoms that are intrinsic to the decentralized and open-source nature of blockchain technology. Over-regulation could stifle innovation and the potential economic benefits that cryptocurrencies can provide.

The opening of this crypto exchange is also an opportunity for Indonesia to develop Blockchain technology and other digital currencies. As the technology behind crypto, Blockchain has various applications that can help increase efficiency and transparency in many sectors, such as logistics, agriculture, healthcare, and government.

Indonesia’s blockchain community is indeed flourishing, exhibiting cutting-edge sophistication and rapid growth. Case in point: Batam-based BeOneChain, a trailblazer in the development of Layer 1 blockchain technology. BeOneChain represents a potent solution for emerging nations, demonstrating the tangible impact of this transformative technology.

This November 2023, another leap forward in the blockchain arena is set to emerge from Bali with the launch of Mandala Chain. This Layer 0 blockchain is anticipated to address issues of scalability and interoperability that persist within the realm of blockchain technology.

It’s imperative for the Indonesian government to actively nurture and safeguard these innovative technological ecosystems. To achieve this, the establishment of a supportive regulatory environment is critical. It paves the way for promising ventures like BeOneChain and Mandala Chain, fostering an atmosphere of creativity, progress, and sustainable growth.

Indonesia’s vibrant and forward-thinking blockchain community reflects the nation’s potential as a significant player in the global blockchain landscape. It is through this kind of innovation that Indonesia could position itself at the forefront of digital revolution, ultimately shaping a robust, inclusive, and transparent digital economy.

Indonesia can also take advantage of this momentum to promote research and development in the field of crypto and Blockchain. With government support and collaboration between industry, academia, and community, the country has the potential to become a leader in Blockchain technology and digital currency innovation.

Lastly, it’s important for Indonesia to establish international cooperation in crypto regulation and standards. By doing this, the country can ensure that its regulations align with global best practices, strengthen its reputation in the crypto world, and expand market access for local investors and companies. Most importantly, it will attract large global Crypto Exchange players to enter the Indonesian market, for example, OKX, Kraken.

Looking ahead, the digital era will bring many opportunities and challenges. However, with proper preparation and a balanced approach, Indonesia can leverage crypto and Blockchain technology to create a stronger, more transparent, and inclusive economy. This digital era marks the beginning of an exciting journey, and Indonesia has proven itself ready to embrace the challenges and opportunities on offer.

Tuhu Nugraha
Tuhu Nugraha
Digital Business & Metaverse Expert Principal of Indonesia Applied Economy & Regulatory Network (IADERN)


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