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Central Bank of Indonesia moves to ban all crytocurrencies

in news •  10 months ago

The total ban on holding, trading or exchanging any form of crypto is expected to take place some time in 2018. According to a local publication Pikiran Rakyat the central bank made this decision during their annual meeting last week, claiming the regulation was required to maintain the sovereignty of the rupiah (Indonesia’s fiat currency) as the country’s legal tender.

We urge you to invest in logic, not Bitcoin… People, if you want to invest, do not invest in virtual money, but invest in the legal [assets] that can improve the economy of Indonesia. source

The first step towards this was implemented a few months ago with a ban on businesses using Bitcoin as a method of payment. Numerous websites were immediately removed or adjusted to comply with this law. Some of which I used myself to buy food and phone credit.

Only 36% of Indonesians have bank accounts (source) and naturally this has given rise the popularity of cryptocurrency here.

Steemit Indonesia

Indonesia & Aceh (a small northern region of Indonesia) have never left the list of top trending tags here on Steemit. The only other tags which refer to a part of the world in the current list are Spanish & Deutsch.

Clearly the concept of cryptocurrecy and Steemit itself are taking this country by storm. And this represents a big problem for the banks.

I have been living in Bali for two years now and in August I gave a talk designed to encourage people here to start using Steemit.

Since then I have helped numerous Indonesians onto this platform and witnessed with my own eyes how much it has changed their lives.

So it is difficult for me to see this happening just as I prepare to leave this country I have grown to love so much.

Illegal to use Steemit

With a total ban on the holding of any cryptocurrency it would effectively render the use of this site illegal. This will most likely lead to a block on the website in Indonesia, adding it to a growing list of blocked sites such as Reddit & Vimeo.

Anonymity & VPNs

Whilst cryptocurrencies may become illegal here, by virtue of their design, it will be hard for the Indonesian government to police their upcoming law.

Identities need never be revealed and a basic knowledge of how to use a VPN will bypass any website blocks.

Calling all INDONESIANS!

For the sake of any Indonesians reading this wondering what I am talking about, a VPN will change the appearance of your location, gaining you access to any blocked sites. Just google 'free vpn download' followed by the device you are using. And follow the instructions.

Please know that this cryptocurrency revolution is unstoppable and whilst you may have to start a few anonymous accounts now and change your code of practice, there is NOTHING your government can do to stop you being a part of this decentralised revolution.

Will the ban decrease the value of cryptocurrencies?

Unlikely. If anything it will increase the value. Making something illegal doesn't stop people using it.

Take marijuana for example. Here in Indonesia the climate is perfect for the cultivation of this plant and by making it illegal all they really did was increase its value, encouraging people to start growing it!

It will be interesting to see how Indonesia plans to implement its new law.

I will keep you informed...

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This seems like a very short sighted knee-jerk ruling... it's not going to be long before crypto-rich Aussies are going to want to party and holiday in Indonesia/Bali. Australia currently invests $9B in Indonesia and while Crypto isn't huge in Australia at the moment, distrust in the banking system and the inability to invest in property (prices are way too high) for millennials means Crypto really isn't too far away. This will bite Indonesia.


It's a dictatorship 1.0 reaction. Thank god, we live in a dictatorhip 4.0. The real movers and shakers want us to use crypto. And to drive our own motivation, they show a little resistance. They know how to make obedience a foam party.


This comment blew my mind.
Do you really think so? I've always thought the real movers and shakers would be anti-crypto...

I'm all in on the foam party... and in a single comment you've made me rethink this whole thing... are we just buying a less ridiculous form of cryptokitty?


I think full crypto means abolishion of cash. Crypto is easy to track. Especially if you have full data access with all the xkeyscores. And I'm sure if we don't behave our crypto amount will just not work anymore.


That's a very good point... I hadn't really thought of it that way.
Monero might be the winner out of all this...

A lot of Indonesians work abroad & quite a lot of the Indonesia economy relies on remittances to back home. Indonesia expats prefer to remit their wages back to their families in Indonesia using crypto instead of suffering from the huge bank & wiring fees.


That's why the ban will fail.

Seems like a poorly thought out policy by the Indonesian Government.
Platforms like Steemit level the playing field for people in developing economies, especially ones like Indonesia who have high adoption rates of mobile tech and surely the income generated flows into the wider economy eventually leading to an overall benefit to the countries GDP.
There seems to be a lot of public policy makers all over the world recently missing the boat on Cryptos.

Ugh.. that is bad news. True, nothing a VPN can't solve, but still...

We urge you to invest in logic, not Bitcoin…



Funny hey. Coz there's nothing logical about investing in a currency rising in value right???

Better to invest in the declining Rupiah!

Damn... Well, I guess you can expect a rush to cash in on all those Steem earned by our Indonesian users, and they are many! :-/


I suspect you are right. Sad really when you imagine how powerful this platform has become for these people. Still, if they are keen they will find a way to get around this. Laws don't seem to count for much around here!


Hahaha, actually, that is very true. My sister-in-law teaches Indonesian in Australia and travels across a couple of times a year, and she has a stack of stories...

this a too bad and too sad for all Indonesian here on steemit. I have seen some of them a while ago. I wonder what their government wanted to happen. Steemit can help their people. Maybe they banned all crypto by studying only one and not every crypto. every crypto have its own different use and they seems not know it.

This is a fight I do not see the government winning. So many have tried, none could stop bitcoin (cryptocurrency). People hate what they don't understand and fear what they can't control.


Agreed they won't stop it, but they will give people fear. And many will stop using it as a result.

I am unhappy to hear this sad news because you mention 32% of the population have not a bank account. In the contrary, they should not stop a population to have access to this great technology.

People will use it underground!


In the end they will have no choice. It's a knee jerk reaction because the banks don't know what else to do right now.

Interesting. I imagine that would push crypto prices up, as with most illegal items. Great post. Upvoted.


You know it. Prices will only go up... making people more keen to get in on the action.

Is this another FUD.


How do you know?

Great to see this defiance. We need a lot more of it.


Ain't nothing stopping me brother. It's the poorer folk on Indonesia I'm worried about. When they hear on TV it's illegal that will be the end of that for many.

Only the really keen ones will break on through to the other side...

That's a short-sighted move. There will be a whole industry around crypto that could help a lot of people there.


No doubt the government will make the best use of this industry whilst making it illegal for the common folk to do the same.

same as you, I saw many other people from Malaysia, Sri Lanka here on Steemit. And I am happy to see that. By banning the crypto, it becomes just more popular in my eyes. It is not hard any more to access the website with an VPN. They can not stop the people. Maybe she, but not all, and some more will come.... Very good post, @samstonehill, greetings from Sri Lanka

How will they notice if someone uses them! :)

Awesome Work @samstonehill!
Would be really great to see this typo of Ambassador content posted to #promo-steem. I am always scanning this tag and upvoting great quality promotional work for steemit!

Sad news for me and my friends in Aceh and Indonesia. But I believe they won't stop it.

If this happens looks like me, Keni and Jamie will see you in Chiang Mai :-)

I'm sad with this, if it's will happen i 2018, I will use vpn to access on it. We must keep use this until this regulation was removed. The government won't stop ours. See if Japan legalize Bitcoin and all of cryptocurrencies.

I've been living in Bali for the past 3 1/2 months and absolutely love it there. Not as a tourist, but immersing in day to day life with the Balinese friends that I've made. I came back to the states for a month to catch up on business and refill medicines, but will go back to Bali soon. I've only just started using Steemit upon my return to the states, and I love it. I suppose I will need to have a VPN on my laptop before I go back so I can continue use of this platform. Also am just one account verification away of buying my first Bitcoin (of course I mean fraction thereof.) Great post!

Hello greetings to your family over there in indonesia. I am Venezuelan and I hope you help me a little, I do not know if you know the situation of my country, I will read your publications, greetings.

You should get in touch with your nearest politician and show him how you alone used steemit to help their country. Then point out the hundreds of other Indonesians using Steemit to create money which goes into their economy.

I am for regulating some of the crypto markets, it legitimizes real hopes and dreams based on crypto. Hope they figure it out soon.


As a tourist here it would not be a wise for me to approach politicians about this. But I understand what you are saying. A very shortsighted move. Which frankly, having come to know this country quite well, doesn't surprise me at all.


Yea, true best stay out of politics when abroad. You could ask a local friend, Im sure you've connected with some on Steemit, I have.


Politicians aren't trying to solve our problems.
They're trying to solve their own problems.
1: How to get elected.
2: How to get re-elected.


If blockchain was employed in such a way as to remove profit from politics I can imagine many of them no longer having the desire to "serve the public"!

On the contrary to many replies, I don't think that it's a poorly made decision by the government. But you have to see it through their eyes. Their job is to govern and they're facing a market that they don't know how or if they can control.

The banking industry is strictly regulated and there are huge problems with corruption. A decision like that would not surprise me.

It would be very unfortunate, but not illogical from the decisions makers perspective.