It is now a lot easier for Indonesians to buy Bitcoin. Bitcoin.co.id, Indonesia’s rising Bitcoin website, has landed a groundbreaking deal with Indomaret to help Indonesia’s over 238 million residents to fund their Bitcoin.co.id accounts. Indonesians now have access to Bitcoin at more than 10,000 Indomaret convenience stores across Indonesia where they can “top up” Indonesian Rupiah on their Bitcoin.co.id account and then trade for Bitcoin.
Bitcoin.co.id has previously received international press coverage late in 2013 after an Indonesian publication, the JakartaGlobe, ran a story titled, Bitcoin Finds Itty-Bitty Market in Indonesia. Bitcoin.co.id’s co-founder Oscar Darmawan was very hopeful for Indonesian Bitcoiners back in 2013. He admitted to the Jakarta Globe that
currently, the number of investors and ‘merchants’ who accept Bitcoin [in Indonesia] is still very small.
Despite the country’s large population, Bitcoin’s use in other countries has continuously taken the media limelight.
In order to raise awareness of Bitcoin, we plan to hold seminars and book launches,
Oscar informed the Indonesian public.
My target is to raise the value of bitcoin transactions in Indonesia from Rp 2 billion per month to Rp 2 billion per day.
Though the Rp volume of Bitcoin transactions in Indonesia is hard to gauge, Bitcoin.co.id has undoubtedly grown over the last several months. In April, Bitcoin.co.id reported daily volumes of between 10-30 BTC, a marked improvement.
In response to the growing Indonesian interest in Bitcoin, Indonesia’s central bank, Bank Indonesia, issued a statement about Bitcoin through their Department of Communication’s Executive Director: Difi Ahmad Johansyah. Along with the usual warning that Bitcoin could be used for scams on the web, Johansyah also said:
Bitcoin is a potential payment method, but it’s different than ordinary currency. It is not regulated by the central bank so there are risks. At the moment, we’re studying bitcoin and we have no plan to issue a regulation on it.
The most recent posted notice from Bank Indonesia, which dates to February 2014, clarifies:
In view of the Act No. 7 Year 2012 concerning Currency and Act No. 23 Year 1999 which has been amended several times, the latest with Act No. 6 Year 2009, Bank Indonesia states that Bitcoin and other virtual currency are not currency or legal payment instrument in Indonesia.
The society is encouraged to be careful toward Bitcoin and other virtual currency. All risks related to the ownership/use of Bitcoin should be borne by the owner/user of the Bitcoin and other virtual currency.
All images from Shutterstock.
Last modified: September 3, 2014 12:17 UTC