Bank Indonesia says Bitcoin ‘not legal’; restrains from banning it

Indonesia joins forces with Malaysia, Thailand, India, China; says Bitcoin is not a legal medium of exchange

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The Central Bank of Republic of Indonesia or called Bank Indonesia has released an official statement about the virtual currency Bitcoin. Quoting Indonesian currency laws, Undang-Undang Nomor 7 Tahun 2011, Undang-Undang Nomor 23 Tahun 1999, and Undang-Undang Nomor 6 Tahun 2009, Bank Indonesia’s Director of Communication Peter Jacobs said that Bitcoin and other virtual currencies do not make a legal medium of exchange in Indonesia.

With this announcement, Indonesia has become the latest to join forces with other countries such as Malaysia, Thailand, India, and China, who have taken a similar course of action.

Read Also: BitCoin in Malaysia: Where are we now?

However, Bank Indonesia did not issue any specific regulation to ban Bitcoin in the country. This means that Bitcoin can still be traded, but without any legal protection should there be any theft or fraud involving the virtual currency.

“Public should be cautious about Bitcoin and other virtual currencies. All the risk regarding the usage and ownership of Bitcoin will be the responsibility of the user/owner,” stated Jacobs.

Bitcoin Indonesia bullish
In response to the government’s announcement, Bitcoin Indonesia CEO Oscar Darmawan told Liputan6.com he is glad as this means Bitcoin can be categorised as a commodity or investment instrument. “If we look at the existing regulation, the legal medium of exchange should be only Rupiah. US Dollar and gold are also not a legal medium of payment. So Bitcoin can be treated as a commodity, same as gold,” he added.

Read Also: Oh no, digital crypto currency Bitcoin gets banned in Thailand

Meisia Chandra

An explorer and a thinker. Writes on digi-tech industry in Indonesia. Also works as a digital strategist and digital media manager in Jakarta.

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  • David Moskowitz

    Headline may be a bit misleading- as you can still freely use Bitcoin.

    “However, Bank Indonesia did not issue any specific regulation to ban
    Bitcoin in the country. This means that Bitcoin can still be traded, but
    without any legal protection should there be any theft or fraud
    involving the virtual currency.”

    That’s actually quite positive as an exchanger may not have the same regulation as a traditional exchange that deals with ‘currency’ as defined by their laws.

  • Surender Dhaleta

    Hi David,
    Thanks for pointing out. Have made the correction accordingly. Though not a legal expert, but I guess, ‘illegal’ and ‘not legal’ could be two things. And it makes sense, particularly when the Bank has not banned it.
    – Editor

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