Indonesia wants to introduce a national crypto exchange in 2023 and has cryptocurrencies regulated by the Financial Services Authority (FSA). Currently, digital assets are regulated by Bappebti, the Commodity Futures Trading Regulatory Agency. By 2024, all regulatory powers for cryptocurrencies are to be transferred to the FSA and be operational by then.
In recent years, the launch of a crypto exchange has been postponed several times due to the complexity of the launch process. Cryptocurrencies have already been recognised as a commodity in Indonesia since 2018 and buying or selling assets was also allowed, but only for investment purposes. Now, the Indonesian Ministry of Trade has formally approved the trading of crypto assets.
The number of crypto investors in Indonesia is also increasing. At the end of 2021, there were a total of 11.2 million crypto investors in Indonesia, which increased to 16 million in the first 11 months of 2022.
Due to the general downturn in the crypto market, the trading volume in Indonesia has also decreased. The trading value shrank from 55 billion USD to only 19.2 billion USD within one year.
While this move seems broadly supportive of cryptocurrency development in the world’s fourth most populous country, the Indonesian government has also signalled that it sees cryptocurrencies as a potential threat to its financial system.
Stablecoins and unsecured crypto assets can increase the risk of money laundering and terrorist financing. Experts fear that these assets will create their own currency space and thus be independent of central banks.
Indonesia’s central banks are therefore trying to find a future-proof solution.
There are currently 383 crypto assets and 10 local tokens that can be legally traded in Indonesia, and another 151 assets and 10 tokens are under review.
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