Bank Indonesia, the Indonesian central bank, has released a statement on Bitcoin, but it doesn’t really tell us much about what the central bank officials think of the digital currency. Ignoring the fact that it is routinely referred to as a “virtual currency“, it seems that all the central bank has decided to do for now is declare that the digital currency is not legally recognized as money or legal tender. This means that certain consumer protection laws do not apply to Bitcoin, and the people of Indonesia need to be aware of the risks involved with the digital currency.
Not Saying Much at All
Bank Indonesia seems to be following a continuing trend from around the world where a central bank comes out and talks about Bitcoin without really saying much in terms of regulation. For now, it seems that governments around the world are trying to understand more about the technology behind Bitcoin before they decide how they are going to implement their regulations. This is probably good for Bitcoin over the long term because it means most regulators have not realized that regulating Bitcoin transactions will be nearly impossible. The only area where government regulations are going to have any impact for now is at the layer above the Bitcoin protocol. At the end of the day, people will still be able to trade fiat currency for bitcoins on a peer-to-peer basis.
The Wild West
For now, Bitcoin is still in the “Wild West” phase of adoption in most parts of the world. This means that innovation can take place without government regulation getting in the way, but it will only be a matter of time before politicians decide to go after Bitcoin because of terrorists, money launderers, child pornographers, and other criminals who still prefer US dollars over Bitcoin as their financial “weapon” of choice.