Crypto is the next big thing in Indonesia. According to the Ministry of Trade, transactions for currencies like Bitcoin (BTC) grew over 14 times from a total of 60 trillion rupiahs ($4.1 billion) in 2020 to a total of 859 trillion rupiahs ($59.83 billion) in 2021.
It’s getting to the point where crypto is becoming more popular than traditional stock. Vice Minister of Trade Jerry Sambuaga stated that more than 11 million Indonesians bought or sold crypto in 2021. In comparison, according to the Indonesian Central Securities Depository, the total number of portfolio investors — indicated by the number of single investor identities — reached 7.35 million in 2021.
Even so, 11 million crypto investors is still only about 4% of Indonesia’s total population, meaning there’s still plenty of room to grow. The crypto community’s growth in Indonesia goes hand-in-hand with several supporting local phenomena, including but not limited to:
Regulatory support from government bodiesIncreased ease of access to cryptocurrency tradingAdoption from major local tech players
Regulators aim to make things more secure
Although crypto assets are still not permitted as payment instruments, companies are welcome to buy and sell crypto as trading commodities in Indonesia. Since 2019, cryptocurrency trading in Indonesia has been officially overseen and regulated by the Commodity Futures Trading Regulatory Agency (BAPPEBTI), a body under the Ministry of Trade.
This governing body is, among other things, in charge of vetting, documenting and approving companies and commodity items allowed to be traded in Indonesia. As of 2021, its whitelist of permitted crypto tokens reached 229 items, including popular assets such as Bitcoin, Ether (ETH), Polkadot (DOT) and Cardano (ADA).
These items are permitted based on BAPPEBTI’s own vetting methods, considering market capitalization rankings as well as security, background checks on the development teams, blockchain system management, and development roadmaps with verifiable success metrics.