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Indonesia Sets Date for National Crypto Exchange

Indonesia is set to launch a national crypto exchange by June 2023 after a previous delay due to obstacles and regulatory changes recognizing crypto assets as financial securities.

Jakarta, Indonesia (Photo by Muhammad Syafi Al - adam / Unsplash)

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Indonesia's Ministry of Trade is moving forward with plans to launch a national crypto exchange, now targeting a June 2023 launch date, six months after its initial target of December 2022.

Speaking last week at the opening of Crypto Literacy Month in Jakarta, Trade Minister Zulkifli Hasan shared the new target date and revealed that the government is currently reviewing which companies meet their criteria to become part of the exchange, local news agency Antara reported.

Related: Indonesia to Launch National Crypto Exchange Amid Regulatory Reform

The national exchange is intended to act as a clearing house and custodian in the local crypto market, mediating transactions and managing the movement of assets between buyers and sellers.

There are currently five exchanges in the race to be part of the bourse, out of the 25 exchanges that are registered with the Commodity Futures Trading Regulatory Agency (Bappebti). The minister said all five might be part of the new exchange.

The minister urged patience and emphasized the importance of educating the public on crypto assets and trade in the lead up the the exchange's launch.

“Let us not rush because if it is not ready, things will get messy. The government does not want this to massively take a toll on the public because people do not know much [about crypto trading],” he said.

High crypto adoption

According to Gemini’s 2022 Global State of Crypto report, Indonesia has the highest crypto ownership (41%) among countries with adults earning more than US$14,000 annually. The Indonesian Ministry of Trade estimates that the country currently has 14 million crypto users, up from 6.6 million users in June last year.

Bappebti reported that crypto transactions throughout 2022 reached Rp306.4 trillion (US$20.6 billion). The figure is down 64.3% as compared to Rp858.76 trillion (US$57.7 billion) in the previous year. In 2020, transactions totalled Rp64.9 trillion (US$4.3 billion).

Regulatory developments

The regulatory shift towards the national exchange comes in response to new crypto regulations ratified in December 2022, which recognize crypto and other digital assets as regulated financial securities. The regulatory power for these assets will shift from Bappebti to the Financial Services Authority following the creation of the national exchange.

In December 2022, the Bank of Indonesia's Governor Perry Warjiyo announced plans to launch a central bank digital currency, which will be the only legal digital tender in the nation.

Read more: Indonesia Could Be the Next Global Blockchain Hub – Here’s Why