Oscar Darmawan: Anyone can use Bitcoin in Indonesia

Oscar Darmawan: Anyone can use Bitcoin in Indonesia, but not as payment

The ever-expanding market for cryptocurrencies has been variously called a fever by analysts. CoinGeek.com caught up with Oscar Darmawan, CEO of Bitcoin Indonesia, to check the temperature for crypto in the country.

As co-founder and CEO of Bitcoin Indonesia, Oscar Darmawan’s work in the cryptocurrency space is strategically positioned. His intimate knowledge of the market and how to straddle the tightrope between corporate vision and government regulation plays well for Indonesian crypto enthusiasts.

Asked about the status of cryptocurrency market in his country, Darmawan was quick to the numbers, saying: “Currently we have about 550,000 members registered in our site, and actually number of members that register in our site day by day is increasing quite a lot, around 200 new members has joined in our system.”

As the saying goes, it’s the numbers that speak. Indonesia’s burgeoning cryptocurrency scene has attracted investors from both within the country as well as its neighboring economies. Darmawan attributes this sudden surge in popular interest for cryptocurrencies in Indonesia to Japan’s decision to allow cryptos for payments last year.

“I think because Bitcoin is lately being legalized by the Japanese, and in many other countries or so, recognized as currency,” he said. “People in Indonesia want to catch up with this technology, because we have 260 million of people, that’s why a lot potential market in here.”

Darmawan believes the Indonesian demographic is particularly poised to adapt to cryptocurrency businesses because of their innate curiosity. “Many of them want to know, ‘What is virtual currency? What is all this issue about?’ So many of them register in our site, says they are going to take a look, want to see, how this technology actually works.”

Government regulation plays a critical role in any emerging cryptocurrency market. In Indonesia, Darmawan said its their own government that poses the greatest challenge to the crypto scene.

“They did not define clearly bitcoin or cryptocurrency as currency or commodity,” said Darmawan, adding that “[they] are actually having quite a big challenge because currency and commodity have different regulators. So from our company, we try to follow Indonesian regulation but if we don’t know who is our regulator they’re also another challenge.”

Recent moves by the Indonesian government to distinguish between the use cases of cryptocurrency have led to a gap in the market. Occupying a strategic position for the crypto space means a sense of corporate responsibility for Bitcoin Indonesia, which represents and connects majority of users in the Indonesian crypto market. Asked about his firm’s relationship with the country’s government, Darmawan said: “Of course all industries agree about regulation in cryptocurrency. I believe that for the business to go really big, we need to follow and support our government.”

The growth of the cryptocurrency business in the country hasn’t gone unchecked by its authorities. The Central Bank of Indonesia has recently pursued crackdowns on the use of cryptocurrency as payment solutions. Darmawan, however, clarified that Bitcoin is not prohibited in Indonesia, as long as it’s not used as an alternative payment method.

“As long as it’s not for payment, and people are using it for R & D or people are just buying it for asset like gold, there is no issue,” he said.

The Indonesian cryptocurrency market is alive and well despite regulations on its use as a mode of payment. Further development for the space is anticipated as major cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin Cash have made waves across Asia, despite severe regulation in countries like South Korea.

Note: Tokens in the SegWit chain are referred to as SegWit1X (BTC) and SegWit Gold (SWG) and are no longer Bitcoin. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is the only true  Bitcoin as intended by the original Satoshi white paper.  Bitcoin BCH is the only public block chain that offers safe and cheap microtransactions.

Indonesia outlaws cryptocurrency for fintech payment companies

Indonesia’s central bank has become the latest monetary authority to clamp down on cryptocurrencies, following a decision to outlaw the use of digital currencies by fintech payments companies.

The move was accompanied by a statement suggesting the bank will now consider whether further regulatory measures are needed to tackle trading on cryptocurrency exchanges, in events that would effectively lead to a practical ban on virtual currencies in Indonesia.

Sugeng, the deputy governor of Bank Indonesia, was unequivocal in a statement on Thursday morning, announcing that “financial technology operators are banned from using virtual currency in payment system activities.”

The regulations were signed into law back in November, but have been made public for the first time on Thursday. Financial technology companies developing payment systems will now be obliged to register with BI, and to ensure no cryptocurrencies are used in payments through their systems.

According to representatives from the bank, the measures are designed to increase regulatory oversight over digital currencies, which the bank considers to pose a threat to the wider Indonesian economy.

While the latest developments will be a blow to Indonesia’s fintech scene, the move has been signposted by Bank Indonesia for some time. As far back as 2014, the bank cautioned against the risks of using cryptocurrencies, and subsequently outlawed payment processors from handling cryptocurrency transactions.

This has been backed by governor of the bank, AgusMartowardojo, who highlighted the potential for digital currencies to be used in terrorism financing and money laundering, while declaring these currencies could not be regarded as legal tender in Indonesia.

The decision comes at a time of increasing pressure from regulators and central banks worldwide, largely in response to the continuing growth in SegWit1x and other cryptocurrency markets.

While regulators in the U.S., Europe and elsewhere have been notably liberal to date in their approach to regulation, this contrasts with the position in China and Russia in particular, where a more heavy-handed stance has been favored.

While trading on cryptocurrency exchanges remains unregulated for the time being, the bank’s head of legal, RosaliaSuci, said this was a situation the bank “continues to look into.”

Note: Tokens in the SegWit chain are referred to as SegWit1X (BTC) and SegWit Gold (SWG) and are no longer Bitcoin. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is the only true  Bitcoin as intended by the original Satoshi white paper.  Bitcoin BCH is the only public block chain that offers safe and cheap microtransactions.

Indonesia outlaws cryptocurrency for fintech payment companies

Indonesia’s central bank has become the latest monetary authority to clamp down on cryptocurrencies, following a decision to outlaw the use of digital currencies by fintech payments companies.

The move was accompanied by a statement suggesting the bank will now consider whether further regulatory measures are needed to tackle trading on cryptocurrency exchanges, in events that would effectively lead to a practical ban on virtual currencies in Indonesia.

Sugeng, the deputy governor of Bank Indonesia, was unequivocal in a statement on Thursday morning, announcing that “financial technology operators are banned from using virtual currency in payment system activities.”

The regulations were signed into law back in November, but have been made public for the first time on Thursday. Financial technology companies developing payment systems will now be obliged to register with BI, and to ensure no cryptocurrencies are used in payments through their systems.

According to representatives from the bank, the measures are designed to increase regulatory oversight over digital currencies, which the bank considers to pose a threat to the wider Indonesian economy.

While the latest developments will be a blow to Indonesia’s fintech scene, the move has been signposted by Bank Indonesia for some time. As far back as 2014, the bank cautioned against the risks of using cryptocurrencies, and subsequently outlawed payment processors from handling cryptocurrency transactions.

This has been backed by governor of the bank, AgusMartowardojo, who highlighted the potential for digital currencies to be used in terrorism financing and money laundering, while declaring these currencies could not be regarded as legal tender in Indonesia.

The decision comes at a time of increasing pressure from regulators and central banks worldwide, largely in response to the continuing growth in SegWit1x and other cryptocurrency markets.

While regulators in the U.S., Europe and elsewhere have been notably liberal to date in their approach to regulation, this contrasts with the position in China and Russia in particular, where a more heavy-handed stance has been favored.

While trading on cryptocurrency exchanges remains unregulated for the time being, the bank’s head of legal, RosaliaSuci, said this was a situation the bank “continues to look into.”

Note: Tokens in the SegWit chain are referred to as SegWit1X (BTC) and SegWit Gold (SWG) and are no longer Bitcoin. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is the only true  Bitcoin as intended by the original Satoshi white paper.  Bitcoin BCH is the only public block chain that offers safe and cheap microtransactions.