Indonesia Set to Become Asia’s Crypto Capital With State-backed Crypto Exchange

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Indonesia Set to Become Asia's Crypto Capital With State-backed Crypto Exchange
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Indonesia, the world’s fifth most-populated nation, is set to launch a state-backed crypto stock exchange by the end of Q2 2023. The nation, which began proposing a possible exchange last year, had shifted the launch date to the new year to ensure adequate preparations.

Indonesia’s Trade Chief, Zulkifli Hasan, disclosed on Thursday, adding that there are no plans to ‘rush’ through the deadlines originally set last year.

Out of 383 licensed crypto exchanges, the country has acknowledged participation interest from two dozen firms. It is in close talks with a selected few who will feature on the exchange upon completion. Much of the country’s crypto oversight is conducted by the Indonesian Blockchain Association (Assosiasi Blockchain Indonesia), down to the scrutinization of whitelisted individuals before any token offering. 

The country is on the cusp of developing new exports with cryptocurrency at the top of its mind. The Country’s Trade Deputy Minister, Jerry Sambuaga, in a September interview with Coindesk, declared: “Indonesia is looking forward to having a lot of commodities [beyond palm oil and coal] to be exported. And we can grab this opportunity to make crypto as one of the potential exports.”

Following the absence of China from the regional market, Indonesia’s crypto exchange trading —also referred to as bourse—will become the first in Asia, placing the gold-rich nation above Hong Kong in the race to attract investment and boost the economy. Hong Kong has continued to push the frontiers for regional crypto adoption, first with its Bitcoin ETF in December and another backed by electronics giant Samsung three weeks ago.

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Last year, Indonesia made the top 20 countries list for growing Crypto adoption. Despite the negative sentiment of crypto amongst the core of its religious population, over $16 billion in transactions were successfully completed over the last 12 months underscoring the growing reliance on alternative financial payment methods. There are now 5 million Indonesians currently holding cryptocurrencies, and the government is looking to boost their number and attract foreign investment with more crypto-friendly policies.

At the turn of the new year, the country announced the transfer of regulatory powers from the nation’s Commodity and Futures Supervisory agency (CoFTRA) to Otoritas Jasa Keuangan (Financial Services Authority) — a specialized body for overseeing banking, capital markets, and non-bank financial institutions. Crypto continues to leap ahead, slowly, in hopes of a resuscitation of the Asian market.