Indonesia to Update Govt Rules for Crypto – Implement More Local Control

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Indonesia could see new rules for crypto asset exchanges.

The South Asian country’s trade ministry is planning to issue new rules to govern crypto exchanges that will require two-thirds of the board of directors and commissioners to be Indonesian citizens and live in Indonesia, a deputy minister said Tuesday.

This change has come about due to the financial issues faced by cryptocurrency exchange Zipmex as it has currently stopped users from withdrawing funds.

“We don’t want to give permits (to exchanges) carelessly, so only for those that meet the requirements and are credible,” deputy trade minister Jerry Sambuaga told reporters after a parliamentary hearing.

Sambuaga added that the ministry’s Commodity Futures Trading Regulatory Agency (Bappebti) will issue the new rule soon.

However, a timeframe has not been provided.

According to a document issued by the ministry, the new rule will require will also require an exchange to use a third party to store client funds and prohibit exchanges from re-investing stored crypto assets.

Didid Noordiatmoko, acting head at Bappebti, told the parliamentary hearing that ensuring two-thirds of the board were Indonesians based in the country “could prevent the top management running away when a problem hits the exchange.”

Sambuaga added that the plan to launch an Indonesian crypto asset bourse could hopefully be completed within this year. It has already been delayed from last year.

According to a report by Deal Street Asia, the proposed digital assets exchange is an attempt by the government to protect its masses as the interest in cryptocurrencies has continued to grow among the populace.

The crypto exchange was initially planned to go live in 2021 but was later postponed to the first quarter of 2022. This postponement did not also stir the launch of the exchange as its complexity forced the government to abandon the plan to date.

Bappebti’s data shows that cryptocurrency has gained popularity in Southeast Asia’s biggest economy, with a total transaction volume of crypto assets up more than 1,000% in 2021 at 859.4 trillion rupiahs ($57.37 billion).

The country’s performance in terms of transaction taxes has also improved.

Since the rollout of fintech and crypto transaction taxes in May, Indonesia has amassed nearly $6.8 million, according to the nation’s tax compliance special staffer Yon Arsal.

The Indonesian finance ministry imposed a value-added tax (VAT) of 0.1% on crypto-assets purchases on May 1 this year. 

The Indonesian administration decided to tax crypto transactions based on surging popularity among local investors. 

Furthermore, crypto interest on Indonesian soil has skyrocketed since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. The number of crypto owners stood at 11 million in 2021. 

Image source: Shutterstock

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