An illustration of Luno's mobile application for cryptocurrency trading. (Photo courtesy of Luno Indonesia)

Bitcoin Set to Gain Ground in Indonesia


OCTOBER 09, 2019

Jakarta. Bitcoin is gaining traction in Indonesia, with massive growth potential as more people in Southeast Asia's biggest economy start to use cryptocurrencies, an industry player said this week.

Speaking on the sidelines of the Tech in Asia Conference at the Jakarta Convention Center on Wednesday, Jay Jayawijayaningtyas, country manager of London-based digital asset exchange company Luno, said less than 2 percent of Indonesians are currently familiar with Bitcoin. Education is therefore key in this early stage of Indonesia's cryptocurrency industry.

"One of our objectives is to educate Indonesian people and the market. So far, popular investment choices here are gold, bank deposits, or property. A recent survey showed that only 17 percent of Indonesians are currently invested in stocks. Cryptocurrency is even smaller than that," he told the Jakarta Globe.

Jay said people did not need to worry about the legality of cryptocurrency investments.

"Bitcoin is safe and legal in Indonesia, and our platform is also very safe. In Bitcoin, there's no such thing as money laundering, terrorist financing, or other things," he said.

Like any other investment, the value of cryptocurrency also fluctuates. However, Jay said the value increases every year.

"Since its launch until now, year-on-year, the value has always been increasing. But we must admit, there's price volatility, which makes the value fluctuate in a year. But so does any other asset. That's why we encourage people to take a long-term view if they want to invest in Bitcoin. In 2013 and 2014, the price [of one Bitcoin] stood at between $300 and $700, but now it's $8,000," Jay said.

Legal Basis

Luno enables Indonesians to invest rupiah in cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin and Ethereum. Cryptocurrency transactions are legal in Indonesia, based on regulations issued by the Futures Exchange Supervisory Board (Bappebti).

Luno has been operating in Indonesia since 2017, first as a market validation company before a legal basis for cryptocurrency trading was established.

Luno Indonesia is funded by several investors.

"One of our investors in Indonesia is the Lippo Group, through Ventura. They have been investing with us for several years," Jay said.

Luno's commitment to educate Indonesians on cryptocurrencies has seen its participation in various events and partnerships with established companies, including Samsung and Indonesian unicorn startups Gojek and Traveloka.

The company says it also has a user-friendly mobile application, which is useful for people only starting in cryptocurrency trading. The app has about 3 million users globally and more than 400,000 in Indonesia.