Indonesia and Brazil lead cryptocurrency adoption globally, with 41% of participants in both countries reporting ownership of digital assets, according to a survey conducted by US-based cryptocurrency exchange Gemini.
They are closely followed by the United Arab Emirates and Singapore at 35% and 30% respectively. Hong Kong ranks eighth at 24%.
An increasing number of investors are looking towards cryptocurrencies to protect against inflation, with 64% of respondents in India and Indonesia and 42% in the relatively fiat-stable Singapore agreeing that cryptocurrencies can be an inflation hedge.
Almost half of all crypto holders in the APAC first bought crypto in 2021, while more than half of crypto owners in Hong Kong (51%) and India (54%) got started in 2021, making it a “breakout year” for digital asset adoption in the APAC.
Earlier this year, Indonesia’s Financial Services Authority (OJK), warned that financial firms in the country are not allowed to offer crypto trading services.
“OJK has strictly prohibited financial service institutions from using, marketing, and/or facilitating crypto asset trading,” the regulator said in a statement posted on Instagram, citing the volatility of cryptocurrencies.
“Please beware of allegations of Ponzi scheme scams in crypto investments,” it added.
However, the sale of crypto assets is still allowed in the commodities exchange, and trading is supervised by the trade ministry and the Commodity Futures Trading Regulatory Agency.
Last year, the Indonesia National Ulema Council (MUI) deemed cryptocurrencies as haram, or banned, as it has elements of “uncertainty, wagering, and doesn’t meet the islamic requirement according to Shariah [law]”.
The country is also set to roll out 0.1% VAT on crypto transactions and a 0.1% income tax on capital gains from cryptocurrency investments, from 1 May.