Bank Indonesia Only Prohibits Bitcoin Usage as Payment Method

The regulation will be published next week

Marsya Nabila - 4 December 2017

Bank Indonesia declares bitcoin prohibition will be limited in closing all transaction using bitcoin. This regulation is to be published on Monday (12/4), after being signed by BI on Wednesday (11/29).

In this regulation, Bank Indonesia confirms bitcoin as non-valid payment method in Indonesia. Some points will be established to close all activities regarding bitcoin payment and so on.

"The point is, we will not accept bitcoin as valid payment. According to plan, there will be a provision to discourage activities that facilitate bitcoin. Discourage means actively prohibiting. Let's wait for the provisions," explained Agusman, BI's Head of Communication Department, in contact with DailySocial on Thursday (11/30).

Furthermore, quoting CNN Indonesia, the regulation will strictly bans bitcoin transaction among individuals. The prohibition has been adjusted in Bank Indonesia Regulation (PBI) Number 18 of 2016 regarding Implementation of Payment Transaction Process. Supposedly a company caught in transaction using bitcoin, the business license will be revoked and sanctioned.

"Supposedly a bank supports bitcoin transaction, there will be tough sanction. However, bitcoin transaction is not using payment system provider. For individuals, we can only prohibit. They can take their own risk," said Eni Panggabean, BI's Head Executive Director of Payment System Policy Department.

Industry player's responses

Bitcoin Indonesia's CEO Oscar Darmawan, in separate contact with DailySocial, said the business model of Bitcoin Indonesia is not to provide payment using bitcoin. It is a marketplace to provide digital assets such as: bitcoin, ethereum, ripple and others. Thus, when the regulation published, it will not necessarily affect the company.

The company will look forward to the regulation and try to comply with it.

"Personally, I think BI play the role as payment regulator. It makes them authorized in making regulations. We aware of the valid payment in Indonesia is Rupiah. However, to own bitcoin, Singapore or US Dollar is not something to be banned, isn't it?," said Darmawan.

Claristy, Luno Indonesia's Country Analyst, added:

"We aware of Bank Indonesia's new regulation which prohibits Bitcoin as valid payment instrument. However, we never know any regulation prohibits Bitcoin as investment assets. Most customers in Luno and other platforms buy Bitcoin as investment assets. We agree with the regulators on keeping finance industry and digital currency free from criminal acts and money laundering, in Indonesia and all around the globe. We fully support and ready to collaborate if regulators, Bank Indonesia or Financial Services Authority, published the regulations or framework for digital currency industry in Indonesia."

Original article is in Indonesian, translated by Kristin Siagian

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