The Indonesian government will enter the new year in arms against Bitcoin and its cohorts.
In an annual meeting held last week, Indonesia’s central bank officials announced their plan to institute an all inclusive ban on the purchasing, trading, and transacting of cryptocurrencies in 2018. The governor of Bank Indonesia, Agus Martowardojo, defended the need for such extreme regulation on the grounds that it protects Indonesia’s national currency, the rupiah.
In the initial report by the Indonesian publication Pikiran Rakyat, Matowardojo explains the regulations will,
also prevent arbitrage opportunities, unhealthy business practices and business controls by parties outside the legal reach of Indonesia’s laws that could damage the structure of industries here.”
This is not the first time that the Indonesian government has looked to close crypto’s doors on its citizens. Back in October, Indonesia banned Bitcoin as a form of payment, forcing the closure of popular Bitcoin payment platforms BitBayar and TokoBitcoin in the process.
At the time of the October ban, Matowardojo publicly announced that, “[Bank Indonesia] does not see Bitcoin as an official payment tool in Indonesia so all people should know not to use Bitcoin as a means of payment. There is a risk.” Part of that risks includes an official threat, as the Bank Indonesia governor charged that “those who use [bitcoin] will be dealt with.”
Now, the Indonesian government is tackling Bitcoin, cryptocurrency at large, and then some, as the forecasted ban also targets FinTech companies.
Behind the Times
Indonesia’s suffocating policies towards cryptocurrencies come at a time when other Asian countries are opening regulatory windows to accommodate the technological craze.
Governments the world over are waking up to the potentially promising future cryptocurrencies offer. For better or for worse, Venezuela will begin developing their own national cryptocurrency, the Petro. Meanwhile in the United States, Bitcoin futures are scheduled to be begin trading on the CME and CBOE exchanges this month.