Indonesia’s Crypto Industry in 2021: A Kaleidoscope


In 2021, the number of global crypto owners is estimated to have grown by 3.9% to more than 300 million crypto users worldwide, with more than 18,000 businesses already accepting cryptocurrencies as payment. India currently tops the list with 100 million users, followed by the United States with 27 million users and Russia with 17 million users.

According to Triple A data, Indonesia has the seventh largest crypto user base after Brazil and Pakistan. It is estimated that there are 7.2 million Indonesians who own cryptocurrencies, while according to the Indonesian Blockchain Association, as of July 2021, the number of crypto owners in Indonesia is 7.4 million people, an 85% increase from 2020. This number is significantly more than the number of stock investors in Indonesia with only 2.7 million investors, based on data from the Indonesian Stock Exchange.

The total population of Indonesia was 272 million people as of June, which means that only 2.7% of the Indonesian population owns crypto. This shows that there is still room for the crypto industry to grow, develop and reach more corners of Indonesian society.

The rapid growth of crypto investors in Indonesia is partly a result of Indonesian regulators welcoming crypto and blockchain developments with open arms. Throughout 2021 there have been many conversations with officials, new crypto regulations and developments in the industry.

According to Dhila Rizqia, Head of Growth at local industry media outlet Coinvestasi, the growing number of Indonesian crypto investors is also reflected in the rise of crypto media. “In 2021, Coinvestasi attracted many new audiences across our channels including Instagram and YouTube, which grew by over 1,787% and 1,388% respectively.”

2021 has been an incredible ride for cryptocurrencies. In this article, we take a look at the hottest trends in the Indonesian crypto industry over the past year.

Whitelist legal digital assets

Bitcoin (BTC) is legal as a commodity in Indonesia and can be traded on crypto exchanges. Earlier this year, the Commodity Futures Trading Regulatory Agency (BAPPBTI) issued a whitelist of legal crypto assets for trading in Indonesia.

This whitelist consists of 229 crypto assets including Bitcoin, Ether (ETH), Polkadot (DOT), Cardano (ADA) and the popular memecoin Dogecoin (DOGE) that are allowed to trade on registered exchanges.

These crypto assets are selected using two approaches: the first is a legal approach that looks at the top 500 coins based on market capitalization as per the provisions of Regulation No. 5 of 2019.

The second is through a process of hierarchy analysis, where BAPPEBTI assesses the security aspects, profiles of the founders and development team, the governance of the blockchain system, the scalability of the blockchain system, the roadmap and its verifiable progress.

Crypto Taxation

With the growth of crypto users and investors in Indonesia, the government is also considering levying taxes on crypto trades through BAPPEBTI and the Director General of Taxes. Crypto taxation is currently still being discussed with several market participants such as stock exchanges and industry associations.

BAPPEBTI explained that the crypto tax in Indonesia could be around 0.05%, lower than the 0.1% tax levied on stock trades.

Meanwhile, the government has reportedly started discussing a 0.03% income tax for investors in crypto assets.

Crypto is haram

The question of whether bitcoin and crypto assets are halal (permissible) or haram (forbidden) under Islamic law has been a long and heated debate. As a predominantly Muslim country, the issue is of particular importance for Indonesia.

In October, the East Java branch of one of Indonesia’s largest Islamic organizations ruled that while the government could approve cryptocurrency, it could not be considered halal, “due to several considerations, including the spread of fraud, it is considered unlawful.” .

Less than a month later, the National Ulema Council (MUI) – Indonesia’s leading Islamic scholarly body – determined that cryptocurrencies are haram due to alleged elements of “uncertainty, wagering and damage”.

Additionally, trading crypto as a digital commodity/asset failed to meet other requirements of Islamic finance law as it lacked necessary elements such as physical form, value, ownership and transferability to the buyer, according to MIU.

NFTs find support from celebrities to the governor

The development of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) in Indonesia started in 2021, especially after Ridwan Kamil, the governor of West Java, jumped on the trend inviting West Java artists to create and promote their art as NFTs traded on NFT platforms such as OpenSea.

Indonesian singer Syahrini sold 17,800 NFTs for 20 Binance USD (BUSD) or around 286,300 rupees per NFT on the Binance NFT exchange, bringing the singer a total income of around 5.1 billion rupees or $356,000.

There’s also chef Arnold Poernomo, a celebrity chef who also created his own NFT and promoted it on twitter.

exchange tokens

Exchange-issued tokens such as Binance Coin (BNB) and FTX Token (FTT) can be used by holders to gain benefits from the exchange, such as: B. Discounts on deposits, no withdrawal fees, opportunities to participate in promotional activities and so on.

Indonesian local exchanges started issuing their own such tokens in 2021, with Tokocrypto releasing Toko Token (TKO) in collaboration with Binance on Binance Launchpad. Since the start of this year’s listing, TKO is up over 1,000%.

Domestic crypto exchange PINTU launched its Pintu Token (PTU) in November, which is now available on various exchanges such as Bybit and FTX, and is also backed by leading investors such as Lightspeed, Coinbase and Pantera.

With two local exchanges launching their own native tokens in 2021, it will be interesting to see if other exchanges like Indodax, Rekeningku or Triv follow suit in 2022.

Binance partners with the largest Indonesian telecom company

To wrap up the year, Binance partnered with a subsidiary of Telkom Indonesia, MDI Ventures, to create a new exchange.

As part of the collaboration, Binance will provide infrastructure and asset management technology to support the development of a crypto asset exchange platform, which will be a joint venture between the two companies.

Donald Wihardja, the CEO of MDI, said the partnership will help advance crypto and blockchain, which he believes are the character’s financial systems.

With a friendly regulatory atmosphere, support and partnerships from global cryptocurrency companies, and growing interest in trading digital assets, it will be interesting to see how the industry continues to evolve in 2022.


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