Person holding smartphone with logo of Indonesian company GoTo Group on screen in front of website. Focus on phone display.

Indonesia’s biggest tech startup GoTo acquires local digital asset exchange for $8.4M

PT GoTo Gojek Tokopedia Tbk (IDX: GOTO), Indonesia’s biggest tech firm, has entered into the digital asset business by purchasing local exchange PT Kripto Maksima Koin for approximately $8.4 million.

report published by Reuters noted that GoTo disclosed the acquisition in a filing to Indonesia’s stock exchange regulator, the Indonesia Stock Exchange (IDX). R.A. Koesoemohadiani, the company’s corporate secretary, said in the filing that the purpose of the transaction is to expand GoTo’s business activities.

In a statement to Reuters, the company added that it intends to become “a diverse money management hub” and believes blockchain technology can help it achieve this.

“We believe that blockchain technology may play a mainstream role in the future of finance,” the statement said.

The purchase was carried out through its subsidiary, PT Dompet Karya Anak Bangsa (DKAB). The local exchange platform is one of only 25 digital asset exchanges registered with the Commodity Futures Trading Regulatory Agency (CoFTRA), also known as Bappebti.

GoTo, which raised $1.1 billion in an initial public offering earlier this year, has not disclosed further plans for the digital asset exchange. However, it is widely expected that the digital asset business will join the roster of Indonesia’s ride-hailing, e-commerce, and finance businesses, contributing as much as two percent of the country’s gross domestic product.

It is also not the company’s first foray with digital assets. Back in 2019, Go-jek, the ride-hailing subsidiary of GoTo, acquired an undisclosed amount of shares in the Philippines-based exchange,

Digital assets gaining popularity in Indonesia

GoTo’s entry into the digital asset market comes at a time when digital assets have been gaining massive popularity in the Southeast Asian country. According to a report from local news outlet Saura, a Ministry of Trade survey found that over 16 million Indonesians are digital assets investors.

The agency found that Indonesians also conducted about $15.63 billion worth of digital asset transactions from January to July 2022. In 2021, the total transaction volume was $57.7 billion, an over 1,000% increase compared to 2020.

Its record from 2021 made Indonesia emerge as the leader in global digital currency interest along with Chile in a study conducted by Coinformant, an Australian digital currency resource platform. The popularity has also brought regulatory focus on the industry with the tax agency proposing to impose a 0.1% tax on digital asset capital gains.

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