Indonesian Flag with hand holding bitcoin

Indonesia plans to launch digital asset exchange by end of 2022

The government of Indonesia plans to roll out an official digital asset exchange by the end of 2022. The plan is part of the government’s effort to protect investors amidst rising interest in digital currencies. 

According to a report by Deal Street Asia, the plan was disclosed by Indonesian Deputy Trade Minister Jerry Sambuaga while he was speaking at NXC International Summit 2022 organized by WIR Group in Bali. 

The plan has been long in the making, stated the news outlet. Initially planned for 2021, the so-called “Crypto Bourse” rollout was postponed to the first quarter of 2022 but still did not launch until now. 

Sambuaga stated that the delay is due to the government’s careful consideration of the project and not because of any significant problems. The reviews include which entities to include in the project, the minimum capital requirement, and technical and custodian depository-related requirements. 

“We will make sure that every requirement, procedure, and the necessary steps have been taken. This is proof that we are being careful. We don’t want to be hasty as it may cause us to miss something. Creating a bourse needs many preparations,” he said. 

Meanwhile, Indonesian digital assets market players have welcomed the announcement. Commenting at the same event, Pang Xue Kai, Chief Executive Officer of one of Indonesia’s 25 licensed digital asset exchanges Tokocrypto, said that a bourse could stimulate the entire ecosystem by bringing in more participants, more communities, and more institutional investors. 

Back in 2021 when the initial plan was announced, Bloomberg reported that Binance, the world’s largest digital assets exchange, was involved. Binance was to partner with a consortium led by MDI Ventures, the venture-capital arm of state-owned telecom company PT Telkom Indonesia, to set up the exchange.

Indonesia recognizing the potential of digital assets adoption

Several key players in the country have noted the rising interest in digital assets among investors in the country. Recently, GoTo, the biggest tech conglomerate in the country, completed the acquisition of local crypto exchange PT Kripto Maksima Koin, for about $8.4 million to diversify its business. 

Similarly, data from Indonesia’s digital asset market regulator the Indonesian Commodity Futures Trading Regulatory Agency, known as Bappebti, reveals that over 11 million people in the country have digital asset holdings. Data showed that the country’s trading volume reached $57.7 billion in 2021, rising more than 1,000% from 2020.

Despite its popularity, Indonesia still bans digital assets from being used as currency. Indonesia’s central bank disclosed in July that the design of its wholesale central bank digital currency, which will be an alternative legal tender, will be ready by the end of 2022. 

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