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Indonesia Tightens Regulations, Ensures More Local Control in Crypto Exchanges

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Indonesia will soon require two-thirds of crypto exchange board members and directors to be Indonesians residing within the country, in a bid to protect investors.

According to the Trade Ministry’s Commodity Futures Trading Regulatory Agency (Bappebti), the rule would also require exchanges to use a third party to store clients’ funds, while prohibiting them from reinvesting those stored assets – similar to what bankrupt crypto lenders Celsius and Voyager used to do.

At a parliamentary hearing on Tuesday, Didid Noordiatmoko, Bappebti’s acting head, said that the rule would prevent the top management from “fleeing the country when a problem hits the exchange.”

Additional revisions to the existing crypto regulations in Indonesia also include gradually doubling the minimum capital requirement for crypto exchanges to 100 billion rupiah (US$6.7 million).

“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 at the same parliamentary hearing.

Indonesia recognised crypto as a commodity and formalised trading of the asset class in 2018, including via centralised exchanges. As of September 2022, there are 25 companies registered and permitted by Bappebti to carry out exchange services in Indonesia, while only 229 cryptoassets are legally sanctioned for trading by those companies.

Related: Thailand Intensifies Crypto Stance by Banning Staking, Lending