In January 2018, the Indonesian government vehemently warned all citizens against the buying, selling, or any form of trading of virtual currency even though its citizen has yearned for a time to welcome Bitcoin as a means to settle transactions.
That story changed in February 2019, after the Indonesian government granted the Commodity and Futures Trading Regulatory Agency (CoFTRA) of the Ministry of Trade permission to buy and sell cryptocurrencies only as a commodity. The regulatory watchdog received the task of checkmating cryptocurrency trading, which is already catching on in the country.
However, the recent approval granted to the Ministry of Trade may have suggested that people could now use cryptocurrencies as a means of payment.
But, Onny Widjanarko, the Executive Director of the Bank Indonesia Communication Department, reiterated as per an InfoKomputer report, that “Bitcoin as a commodity regulated by [the Ministry of Trade] may be traded, but it cannot be used as a means of payment.”
So far, the Indonesian Ministry of Trade has granted thirteen (13) Indonesian companies registered permission to trade Bitcoin, despite the government’s long-standing opposition against the cryptocurrency as a legal medium of exchange within the federation.
As it stands, the Indonesian government is bent on keeping track of all the country’s payment system, to make sure that no one uses Bitcoin as a method of payment or carry out any transaction, for fear that Bitcoin does not overtake the Rupiah.
Meanwhile, the registration of the 13 companies by the Ministry of Trade may serve as an indication that there is hope for these companies to emerge as physical merchants of crypto assets in Indonesia sometime in the future.
According to Tjahja Widayanti, the head of Bappebti, while other companies trading crypto assets in Indonesia remain illegal, the legalized 13 companies have complied with all government regulations and requirements for crypto trading.
Widayanti further added: “Because there are only 13 registered companies, if there is a crypto exchange service provider operating outside the Bappebti license, it will be considered illegal and will be subject to sanctions in accordance with applicable regulations in Indonesia.”
In April, Coinfomania reported that the Indonesian Ruphia was added to the list of fiat currencies on the Binance peer-to-peer (p2p) trading platform where users can directly buy and sell BTC, ETH, BNB, USDT, and BUSD free of charge.