Crypto in Indonesia: more than 260 million opportunities

December 18, 2019

Earlier this year, the Indonesian Bappebti - or, The Commodity Futures Trading Regulatory Agency - set out new guidelines to better regulate the trading of crypto on Indonesia-based futures exchanges. 

While not everyone is pleased with the specifics of it, the regulator stepping in to offer more protection for traders and investors is generally welcomed and seen as an indicator of Indonesia’s increasingly progressive attitude towards crypto. 

If we take into account the position of some of the other major economic powers - the US, China, and India - who have either shown a great amount of caution or suspicion, to say the least, Indonesia’s direction is significant. 

So where does Indonesia stand today in terms of adoption, and what are the opportunities ahead?

Indonesia on the map 

We’re already familiar with major crypto hubs such as Japan, Malta, Singapore, and Switzerland, but the prospect of Indonesia rising as one of the crypto-friendly jurisdictions should stop anyone looking for opportunities in their tracks. 

Don’t forget: Indonesia is currently the largest economy in Southeast Asia and ranked 16th globally - slightly ahead of The Netherlands and closely following Australia. Its economy has grown tremendously over the last two decades, now boasting a nominal GDP of $1.02 trillion and a GDP of $3.5 trillion in terms of Purchasing Power Parity (PPP).  As such, it has joined the so-called trillion-dollar club. 

With a population of more than 260 million, some researchers have suggested that Indonesia is set to become the 4th largest economy in the world by 2030, in terms of GDP by PPP, trailing only behind China, India, and the US, respectively. 

Crypto in Indonesia

While Indonesia may be seen as changing its stance on crypto, at present the conditions are not yet optimal. There are a few Bitcoin ATMs available and LocalBitcoins is relatively active across the region. But in terms of spending Bitcoin, or other cryptocurrencies, the infrastructure is not there yet. For now, cryptocurrency is mostly used to conduct cross border money transfers or as an investment product. 

Indodax is arguably the biggest crypto exchange in Indonesia today, with approximately 1.7 million registered users, which is not particularly impressive given Indonesia’s demographics, but by no means negligible.  

What’s important to bear in mind, however, is that Indonesia’s population is relatively young. The median age now hovers around 30 years and given that this generation is more familiar with digital technology than older generations and comparatively more open to investing in cryptocurrency, as more generational wealth changes hands over the next few years, this could potentially mean that much more capital will be flowing into this new asset class.

Furthermore, only around 60 million people - a little less than a quarter of the population - have access to bank accounts, which means there is great potential for the adoption of blockchain-based alternatives, both to store as well as to transfer value. 

Stablecoins may play an important role here. Earlier this year, we saw the launch of IDRT, which is pegged to the Indonesian Rupiah (1:1), and  IDK (1:1,000). Both are based on the ERC20 token standard. Also, Binance recently announced it was entering the Indonesian market and offering localised trading pairs. 

But the importance of stablecoins is not just about making it easier for people to trade in and out of Bitcoin: ultimately, it offers a pathway to connect the unbanked to the global economy and give people more control over their own finances. This is where Bitspark gets to shine.

Grow with Bitspark 

Since 2014, Bitspark has been innovating in finance by connecting the benefits of crypto to people’s everyday needs. Whether it’s about making it easier for people to send money overseas, to friends and family, making international payments, cashing in and out of crypto, or enabling people to diversify their portfolio, we believe cryptocurrency offers unique opportunities at competitive prices. 

We currently offer a vast network of cash points where people can trade cash for crypto across Hong Kong, The Philippines, Vietnam, and Australia, and Indonesia is on the roadmap.

By using stablecoins, we make it easy to cash in and out of crypto and it is our goal to eventually list stablecoins for each of the world’s 180+ local currencies. 

Have you thought about setting up a Cash Point business yourself? Do you see opportunities in this space? Learn more about how you can become a Cash Point of the Bitspark network and earn money while serving your community in a unique way. 


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