Jakarta. Smart Banking Exchange, better-known as SBXbank, a London-headquartered company, is set to launch a unique marketplace called "Coinxmart," in which transactions are done using crypto currency, an alternative digital currency not dissimilar to the old bitcoin.
Abdul Rahman Said, SBXbank's Asean vice president of marketing, told the Jakarta Globe in an interview on Wednesday (25/2) the company seeks to sink up to Rp 100 billion ($7.5 million) into developing financial technology services that offer not only e-commerce, but also peer-to-peer investment and peer-to-peer lending, all of which will use a crypto currency.
SBXbank's presence in Southeast Asia's biggest economy is led by its wholly owned subsidiary Solarcity Kapital Indonesia, which flies the flag of SBX Indonesia.
Crypto currency is a digital currency used as a medium of exchange or alternative currency that uses encryption techniques to regulate the generation of units and verify transfer of funds, all of which operates independently of a central bank.
Bitcoin pioneered such service in 2009. Since then numerous crypto currencies have been created.
Abdul Rahman said Coinxmart will be launched in Indonesia, along with its iOS and Android apps, in May. The marketplace will use SBXbank's proprietary crypto currency called SBXCoin.
He said crypto currency's prospects in Indonesia are excellent since the digital currency can also be used in many traditional banking services, including lending, deposit, payment and transfer.
"Soon fintech products will be used widely in all aspects of the financial industry's value-chain," Abdul said.
He said currently SBXbank is currently in negotiation with Indonesia's Financial Services Authority, known as the OJK, to convince them that fintech services, including its crypto currency, are safe for the customers.
In Indonesia, crypto currency is officially unregulated, although Suasti Atmastuti Astaman, the business development manager of Indonesian bitcoin exchange Bitcoin.co.id, said on its website in January that the rupiah is one of the most-traded currencies for bitcoin worldwide already.
Abdul said he hopes to convince OJK, the financial services regulator, that crypto currency is safe, and not easily misused to launder money since a provider like SBXbank implements strict know-your-customer principle.
Crypto currency can also encourage more financial inclusion in society, he added.
Bank Indonesia recently issued a regulation, PBI No. 18/2016, on payment system processing, which regulates permit issuance for online payment services to protect the public against fraud in a rapidly growing e-commerce industry.
Yet, the regulation does not mention anything about crypto currency, continuing the central bank's previous stance not to include it as one of the country's official mediums of exchange.
"We have to build public awareness of crypto currency. We have to let the public know the advantages of using crypto currency," Abdul said.
SBXbank plans to allow up to 30 debit cards to be used in its market place, giving customers time to ease themselves into using the new SBXCoin. "There's no physical money in the internet, everything will be done using SBXCoin eventually," he said.
Coinxmart is expected to seal a deal soon with a global luxury brand retail store which will be one of the anchor merchants in Coinxmart.
SBXbank already has other operations in North America, Europe and some parts of Asia. It has been offering SBXChange, a digital asset exchange for its SBXCoin, in those markets.