Značka: Indonesia

Indonesian regulator takes cue from Islamic NGOs, bars crypto sales for institutions

Indonesia’s financial watchdog the Otoritas Jasa Keuangan (OJK) warned financial institutions in the country against offering or facilitating crypto-asset sales.On Tuesday, the official Instagram account for OJK posted a warning against the growing number of crypto Ponzi schemes and risks of crypto investments owing to the market’s volatility. The official post also quoted the chairman Wimboh Santoso who said financial institutions are strictly prohibited from offering crypto sale services in any form. The official post read:“OJK has strictly prohibited financial service institutions from using, marketing, and/or facilitating crypto asset trading.”The current warning against crypto investments and prohibition of crypto trading services for financial institutions comes on the heels of several calls for a ban on crypto use from the country’s leading Islamic non-government organizations (NGOs). As Cointelegraph reported earlier, a total of three Islamic organizations have issued a fatwa against crypto use by Muslims, deeming it haram.In October 2021, major Islamic organization the Nahdlatul Ulama deemed crypto haram due to its allegedly speculative nature. A month later, the Indonesian Ulema Council, declared crypto haram as a transactional tool. However, it noted that cryptoassets can be used as an investment tool if they abide by Sharia tenets. Muhammadiyah became the third Indonesian Islamic organization to issue a fatwa against cryptocurrency use as a payment and investment tool.Indonesia over the years has grown to become one of the leading crypto economies in Asia. The total crypto transaction reached 859 trillion rupiahs ($59.83 billion) in 2021, up from 60 trillion rupiahs ($4.18 billion) in 2020. Related: Vibe killers: Here are the countries that moved to outlaw crypto in the past yearCrypto assets are regulated as tradable commodities in Indonesia, governed by the trade ministry and the Commodity Futures Trading Regulatory Agency. The ministry is currently working on setting up an independent market for digital assets called the Digital Futures Exchange, expected to be launched in the first quarter. However, crypto as a form of payment tool is illegal in the country. 

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Indonesia's Crypto Industry in 2021: A Kaleidoscope

In 2021, the number of global crypto holders has been estimated to have increased by 3.9% to more than 300 million crypto users worldwide, with more than 18,000 businesses already accepting cryptocurrencies as payment. India is currently in the lead with 100 million users, followed by the United States with 27 million users and Russia with 17 million users.According to data from Triple A, Indonesia has the seventh-largest crypto user base, below Brazil and Pakistan. It is estimated that there are 7.2 million Indonesians who own cryptocurrencies, while according to the Indonesian Blockchain Association, as of July 2021, the number of crypto owners in Indonesia is 7.4 million people, an increase of 85% from 2020. This number is significantly more than the number of stock investors in Indonesia with only 2.7 million investors, based on data from the Indonesia Stock Exchange.The total population of Indonesia in June was 272 million people, which means that only 2.7% of the Indonesian population owns crypto. This shows that there is still room for the crypto industry to grow, develop and reach more corners of Indonesian society.The rapid growth of crypto investors in Indonesia is partly the result of Indonesian regulators that have welcomed crypto and blockchain developments with open arms. Throughout 2021, there have been many discussions with officials, new crypto regulations and developments in the sector. According to Dhila Rizqia, head of growth at local industry media firm Coinvestasi, the growing number of Indonesian crypto investors is also reflected in the rise of the crypto media. “In 2021, Coinvestasi has gained a lot of new audiences across our channels, including Instagram and YouTube which have grown over 1,787% and 1,388%, respectively.”2021 has been an incredible ride for cryptocurrencies, in this article we’ll take a look at the hottest trends in the Indonesian crypto industry last year.Whitelist of legal digital assetsBitcoin (BTC) is legal in Indonesia as a commodity and can be traded on crypto exchanges. Early this year, the Commodity Futures Trading Regulatory Agency (BAPPEBTI) issued a whitelist of legal crypto assets for trading in Indonesia. This whitelist consists of 229 crypto assets, including Bitcoin, Ether (ETH), Polkadot (DOT), Cardano (ADA) and the popular memecoin Dogecoin (DOGE), that are allowed for trading on registered exchanges. These crypto assets are selected by two approaches: The first is a juridical approach which looks at the top 500 coins based on market cap in accordance with the provisions in regulation Number 5 of 2019. The second is through a process of hierarchy analysis, wherein BAPPEBTI assesses the security aspects, profiles of the founders and developer team, blockchain system governance, blockchain system scalability, roadmap and its verifiable progress. Crypto taxationWith the growth of crypto users and investors in Indonesia, the government, through BAPPEBTI and the Director General of Taxes, is also considering imposing taxes on crypto trading. For now, crypto taxation is still under discussion with several market players such as exchanges and industry associations. BAPPEBTI stated that the crypto tax in Indonesia could be around 0.05%, lower than the 0.1% tax imposed on stock trades.Meanwhile, the government has reportedly begun to discuss an income tax for investors in crypto assets of 0.03%. Crypto is haramThe question of Bitcoin and crypto assets being halal (permissible) or haram (forbidden) under Islamic law has been a long and heated debate. As a country with a majority Muslim population, the topic is of particular importance for Indonesia.In October, the East Java branch of one of Indonesia’s largest Islamic organizations ruled that while the government may approve of cryptocurrencies, they cannot be considered halal “based on several considerations, including the prevalence of fraud, it is considered unlawful.”Less than one month later, the National Ulema Council (MUI) — Indonesia’s top Islamic scholarly body — found cryptocurrencies to be haram due to alleged elements of “uncertainty, wagering and harm.”Furthermore, the trading of crypto as a digital commodity/asset did not meet other requirements of Islamic financial law because, according to the MIU, it lacked necessary elements such as having a physical form, having value, being proprietary and able to be handed over to the buyer. NFTs find support from celebrities to the governor The development of nonfungible tokens (NFTs) in Indonesia took off in 2021, especially after Ridwan Kamil, the Governor of West Java, jumped on this trend by inviting artists from West Java to create and promote their art as NFTs to be traded on NFT platforms such as OpenSea. NFT: A NEWMIND ECONOMYSeiring dgn logika2 baru ekonomi digital. Saya akan memulai transformasi kesejahteraan baru newmind economy utk para pelaku ekonomi kreatif.Yaitu bantu menjualkan karya2 seniman jalanan di bursa aset digital dunia yaitu NFT via pasar marketplace Opensea. pic.twitter.com/p91VlRBtZI— ridwan kamil (@ridwankamil) November 25, 2021Indonesian singer Syahrini sold 17,800 NFTs for 20 Binance USD (BUSD) or around 286,300 rupiahs per NFT on the Binance NFT exchange, netting the singer a total income of around 5.1 billion rupiahs, or $356,000.There is also chef Arnold Poernomo, a celebrity chef who also created his own NFT and promoted it on Twitter.Exchange tokensExchange-issued tokens such as Binance Coin (BNB) and FTX Token (FTT) can be used by holders to get benefits provided by the exchange such as discounts on deposits, no withdrawal fees, opportunities to participate in promotional activities and so on. Indonesian local exchanges began to issue their own such tokens in 2021, with Tokocrypto releasing Toko Token (TKO) in collaboration with Binance on Binance Launchpad. From the beginning of this year’s listing, TKO has increased by over 1,000%.Domestic crypto exchange PINTU launched its Pintu Token (PTU) in November, which is now available on various exchanges such as Bybit and FTX and is also supported by leading investors like Lightspeed, Coinbase and Pantera.With two local exchanges launching their own native tokens in 2021, it will be interesting to see if other exchanges such as Indodax, Rekeningku or Triv follow suit in 2022.Binance partners with largest Indonesian telcoTo cap off the year Binance partnered with a subsidiary of Telkom Indonesia, MDI Ventures, to create a new exchange.Within the collaboration, Binance will provide infrastructure and asset management technology to support the development of a crypto-asset exchange platform, which will be a joint venture between the two firms.Donald Wihardja, the CEO of MDI, said that the partnership will help advance crypto and blockchain, which he believes are the financial systems of the figure.With a friendly regulatory atmosphere, support and partnerships from global cryptocurrency firms, and growing interest in digital asset trading, it will be interesting to see how the industry continues to develop in 2022.

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Vibe killers: Here are the countries that moved to outlaw crypto in the past year

Last week, Pakistan’s Sindh High Court held a hearing on the legal status of digital currencies that might lead an outright ban of cryptocurrency trading combined with penalties against crypto exchanges. Several days later, the Central Bank of Russia called for a ban on both crypto trading and mining operations. Both countries could join the growing ranks of nations that moved to outlaw digital assets, which already include China, Turkey, Iran and several other jurisdictions.According to a report by the Library of Congress (LOC), there are currently nine jurisdictions that have applied an absolute ban on crypto and 42 with an implicit ban. The authors of the report highlight a worrisome trend: the number of countries banning crypto has more than doubled since 2018. Here are the countries that banned certain cryptocurrency-related activities or announced their intention to do so in 2021 and early 2022.BoliviaThe Bolivian Central Bank (BCB) issued its first crypto prohibition resolution in late 2020, but it was not until Jan. 13, 2022 that the ban was formally ratified. The language of the most recent ban specifically targets “private initiatives related to the use and commercialization of […] cryptoassets.” The regulator justified the move by investor protection considerations. It warned of “potential risks of generating economic losses to the […] holders” and emphasized the need to protect Bolivians from fraud and scams. China Cryptocurrency transactions have been formally banned in the People’s Republic of China since 2019, but it was last year when the government took steps to clamp down on crypto activity in earnest. Several official warnings of the risks associated with crypto investment were followed by a ban on cryptocurrency mining and forbade the nation’s banks to facilitate any operations with digital assets. But the crucial statement came out on Sept. 24, when a concert of the major state regulators vowed to jointly enforce a ban on all crypto transactions and mining. Apart from the common notions of money laundering and investor protection, Chinese officials played the environmental card in their fight with mining, which is a bold move for a country that contributes up to 26% of global carbon dioxide emissions, of which crypto mining represents a marginal share.Indonesia On Nov. 11, 2021, The National Ulema Council of Indonesia (MUI), the nation’s top Islamic scholarly body, proclaimed cryptocurrencies to be haram, or forbidden on religious grounds. MUI’s directions are not legally binding and as such it will not necessarily halt all cryptocurrency trading. However, it could deal a significant blow to the crypto scene of the world’s largest Muslim country and affect future governmental policies. MUI’s determination mirrors a common interpretation that has been shaping up across jurisdictions influenced by the Islamic legal tradition. It views crypto activity as wagering — a concept that arguably could be used to define almost any capitalist activity.On Jan. 20, the religious anti-crypto push was furthered by several other non-governmental Islamic organizations in Indonesia, The Tarjih Council and the Central Executive Tajdid of Muhammadiyah. They confirmed the haram status of cryptocurrencies by issuing a fatwa (a ruling under Islamic law) that focuses on the speculative nature of cryptocurrencies and their lack of capacity to serve as a medium of exchange by Islamic legal standards. Nepal On Sept. 9, 2021, the Nepal Central Bank (Nepal Rastra Bank, NRB) issued a notice with a headline “Cryptocurrency transactions are illegal.” The regulator, referencing the national Foreign Exchange Act of 2019, declared cryptocurrency trading, mining and “encouraging the illegal activities” as punishable by law. NRB separately underlined that the individual users are also to be held responsible for violations related to crypto trading.A statement from Ramu Paudel, the executive director of the Foreign Exchange Management Department of the NRB, emphasized the threat of “swindling” to the general population. Nigeria A U-turn in Nigeria’s national policy on digital assets was cemented on February 12, 2021, when the Nigerian Securities and Exchange Commission announced suspending all plans for crypto regulation, following a ban by the central bank introduced a week earlier. The nation’s central cank ordered commercial banks to shut down all crypto-related accounts and warned of penalties for non-compliance. CBN’s explanation for such a crackdown lists a number of familiar concerns such as price volatility and potential for money laundering and financing of terrorism. At the same time, CBN governor Godwin Emefiele stated that the central bank was still interested in digital currencies, and that the government was exploring various policy scenarios.Turkey On Apr. 20, 2021, the price of Bitcoin (BTC) tumbled 5% after Turkey’s central bank declared that “cryptocurrencies and other such digital assets” could not be legally used to pay for goods and services. As the explanation went, the use of cryptocurrencies could ‘cause non-recoverable losses for the parties to the transactions […] and include elements that may undermine the confidence in methods and instruments used currently in payments’. But that was just the beginning — what followed was a series of arrests of crypto fraud suspects, as well as Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan personally declaring a war on crypto.Related: Turkish and Salvadoran presidents meet, Bitcoiners left disappointedIn Dec. 2021, Erdoğan announced that the national cryptocurrency regulation had already been drafted and would soon be introduced to the parliament. In a thriller twist, the president remarked that the legislation was designed with the participation of cryptocurrency industry stakeholders. The exact nature of the regulatory framework remains unknown. Russia In a Jan. 20, 2022, report intended for public discussion, the Central Bank of Russia proposed a complete ban on over-the-counter (OTC) cryptocurrency trading, centralized and peer-to-peer crypto exchanges, as well as a ban on crypto mining. The regulator also advanced the idea of imposing punishments for violating these rules. In the justification part of the report, CBR compared crypto assets to Ponzi schemes and listed concerns such as volatility and illegal activity financing, as well as undermining “the environmental agenda of the Russian Federation.” But perhaps the most relevant of the justifications was the concern over the potential threat to Russia’s “financial sovereignty.” How bad is all this?It is hard not to notice that many of the countries on this list represent some of the most vibrant crypto markets: China does not need an introduction; Nigeria was the biggest source of Bitcoin trading volume in Africa; Indonesia was on Binance’s radar as an expansion target; and Turkey saw a rising interest in Bitcoin amidst the lira’s freefall. When crypto awareness and adoption reaches such levels, it is hardly possible to outlaw the technology whose advantages have already become known to the general public. It is also worth a mention that in many cases the authorities’ messaging around crypto has been ambiguous, with officials publicly voicing their interest in digital assets’ potential before and even in the wake of the ban. Caroline Malcolm, head of international policy at blockchain data firm Chainalysis, noted to Cointelegraph that it is important to be clear that “only a very few cases is there in fact a full ban.” Malcolm added that in many casesgovernment authorities have limited the use of crypto for payments, but they are allowed for trading or investment purposes.Why do governments seek crypto bans?Regulators’ motivations to outlaw some or all types of crypto operations can be driven by a variety of considerations, yet some recurring patterns are visible.Kay Khemani, managing director at trading platfrom Spectre.ai, emphasized the degree of political control within the countries that seek to establish crypto bans. Khemani commented: Nations that do engage in outright bans are generally those where the state holds a tighter grip on society and economy. If larger, prominent economies start to embrace and weave decentralized assets within their financial framework, more likely than not, nations who erstwhile banned cryptos may take a second look.States’ major anxiety, often concealed behind the stated concerns for the general population’s financial safety, is the pressure that digital currencies put on sovereign fiat and prospective central bank digital currencies (CBDCs), especially in the shaky economies. As Sebastian Markowsky, chief strategy officer at Bitcoin ATM provider Coinsource, told Cointelegraph:A general pattern suggests that countries with a less stable fiat currency tend to have high crypto adoption rates, and thus end up with bans on crypto, as governments want to keep people invested in fiat […] In China, the wide rollout of the digital yuan CBDC is rumored to be the real reason for the crypto ban. Caroline Malcolm added that drivers behind governments’ crypto policies can shift over time, and therefore it is important not to assume that the positions that these countries take today are going to remain unchanged forever.The hope is that at least in some of the cases reviewed above, strict limiting measures against digital assets will eventually turn out to be a pause that regulators will have taken to create a framework for nuanced, thoughtful regulation.

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Indonesian Islamic organization issues new fatwa against crypto use

The Tarjih Council and the Central Executive Tajdid of Muhammadiyah, one of the largest non-government Islamic organizations in Indonesia, issued a new fatwa against cryptocurrency use, deeming it haram, or unlawful, for Muslims.The fatwa, a ruling on the point of Islamic law, was issued on Tuesday and pointed towards two critical issues with cryptocurrencies that make them illegal as an investment tool and a medium of exchange under Islamic laws:The speculative nature of cryptocurrencies makes them imperfect as an investment tool. The crypto tokens are believed to contain “gharar” (obscurity) which means they are not backed by anything like gold, which makes them unlawful under Islamic laws.Cryptocurrencies don’t meet the standards of Islamic barter or medium of exchange laws which require them to be legal tender and accepted by both parties.The fatwa read:”This speculative nature and gharar is forbidden by the Shari’a as the word of God and the hadith of the Prophet SAW and does not meet the values ​​and benchmarks of Business Ethics according to Muhammadiyah.”Muhammadiyah became the third Indonesian Islamic organization to issue a fatwa against cryptocurrency use. Earlier, in November 2021, the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI), the highest clerical body in the country declared crypto haram as a transactional tool. However, it noted that crypto assets can be used as an investment tool if they abide by sharia tenets. In October 2021, another major Islamic organization the Nahdlatul Ulama (NU) also deemed crypto haram due to its speculative nature.Related: Russian Orthodox Patriarch is not a Bitcoiner, church clarifiesDespite the growing calls for a ban on crypto use by Islamic organizations in Indonesia, the country has seen a mammoth rise in adoption. The country recorded $9.8 billion in crypto transactions in 2021, recording a 1,222% rise over 2020. Not just investments and transactions, the recognition of crypto as a trading commodity has made it the primary choice of many international crypto exchanges.

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22-year-old Indonesian boy makes $1M by selling NFT selfies on OpenSea

An Indonesian college student has reportedly become a millionaire by selling nonfungible token (NFT) versions of his selfies on the OpenSea NFT marketplace.Sultan Gustaf Al Ghozali, a 22-year-old computer science student from Semarang, Indonesia, converted and sold nearly 1,000 selfie images as NFTs. According to Ghozali, he took photos of himself for five years — between the ages of 18 and 22 — as a way to look back on his graduation journey.Uploading my photo into nft lolhttps://t.co/E3Q4sBmN26#NFT #opensea pic.twitter.com/rD51rdcpzp— Ghozali_Ghozalu (@Ghozali_Ghozalu) January 10, 2022Ghozali selfies were taken sitting or standing in front of his computer, which was later converted into NFTs and uploaded to OpenSea in December 2021. The artist set the price for each NFT selfie at $3 without expecting interest from serious buyers. While monetizing his expressionless images, Ghozali said:“You can do anything like flipping or whatever but please don’t abuse my photos or my parents will very disappointed in me. I believe in you guys so please take care of my photos.”Ghozali’s OpenSea profile. Source: OpenSea.Going against his wildest expectations, Ghozali’s NFT offering blew up as prominent members of Crypto Twitter showed support by purchasing and marketing the offerings.Ghozali happened…the year of Gozali @Ghozali_Ghozalu pic.twitter.com/HKOw7FZddj— Arnold Poernomo (@ArnoldPoernomo) January 12, 2022

With the rising popularity, one of Ghozali’s NFT sold for 0.247 Ether (ETH) on Jan 14. worth $806 at the time of purchase, according to AFP. The young entrepreneur also adds a touch of personalization by providing some background information along with the selfies, which adds to the rarity of the NFT.every #NFT photo I take has a story behindThis photo was taken during the second corona vaccine https://t.co/pZfJKoKuc9— Ghozali_Ghozalu (@Ghozali_Ghozalu) January 11, 2022

At its peak, Ghozali’s selfie NFTs sold for 0.9 ETH, worth roughly $3,000, according to a Lifestyle Asia report. Ghozali’s collection subsequently reached a total trade volume of 317 ether, equivalent to more than $1 million. The young artist also made his first tax payment on the basis of this income through OpenSea.this is my first tax payment in my life https://t.co/VDa8KYYPGs— Ghozali_Ghozalu (@Ghozali_Ghozalu) January 14, 2022

Related: NFT sales and blockchain games continue to grow despite the recent market slump: ReportDespite the recent sluggish performance of the overall crypto market, the NFT marketplace and blockchain gaming industry continues to record high transaction volumes. As Cointelegraph reported, DappRadar data shows that the number of UAW connected to Ethereum NFT DApps grew by 43% since Q3 2021. In addition, the money generated by NFT trading went from $10.7 billion in Q3 2021 to $11.9 billion in the first ten days of 2022.

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Binance partners with Indonesian telco to develop new crypto exchange

Major cryptocurrency exchange Binance has partnered with MDI Ventures, PT Telkom Indonesia’s venture capital arm, to establish a crypto exchange platform.According to a joint announcement on Wednesday, the agreement will also seek to broaden blockchain adoption throughout Indonesia, which is home to about 240 million people.To assist with the development of the new exchange platform, Binance will provide asset management infrastructure and technology. The agreement will also seek to increase the application of blockchain technology in Indonesia more broadly.The new partnership enables Binance to grow its operations in a nation where it already has an investment in crypto trading platform Tokocrypto. Binance CEO and founder Changpeng Zhao said:“Our ambition at Binance is to grow the blockchain and cryptocurrency ecosystem globally, and this initiative in Indonesia is a significant step in that direction. With fast technology adoption and strong economic potential, Indonesia could become one of the leading centers of the blockchain and crypto ecosystem in Southeast Asia.”Related: Binance reportedly wants global wealth funds to get a stake in exchangeMDI Ventures is a major Indonesian technology investment firm, with a global portfolio worth over $830 million across several industries. The statement did not reveal the identity of any other companies involved in the MDI-led consortium.Binance, which faced significant regulatory restrictions throughout the second and third quarters of 2021, is now aiming to expand its presence across Asia. The Singapore affiliate of cryptocurrency trading behemoth Binance has recently purchased an 18% stake in Hg Exchange, a local private securities exchange.

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Binance reportedly in talks to launch crypto exchange in Indonesia

Binance, the world’s largest crypto exchange by trading volume, is reportedly in talks with Indonesia’s richest family, the Hartonos, to open a crypto exchange. As per a report published in Bloomberg, Binance Holdings Ltd. is looking to finalize a crypto venture with billionaire siblings Budi and Michael Hartonos-controlled PT Bank Central Asia (BCA), and Indonesia’s largest state-owned telecom firm PT Telkom Indonesia. The report also claimed that the BCA may enter into the partnership using a separate business entity and the terms of the partnership could vary at the time of finalization. If finalized, it would be the second crypto venture for Binance in Indonesia. The first came in the form of a partnership with crypto trading platform Tokocrypto.A new crypto venture involving the country’s richest family and the largest telecom firm would give Binance a strong foothold in the country with positive crypto regulations. The Indonesian government treats the crypto market as an investment class and allows its trading alongside commodity futures.BCA didn’t immediately respond to Cointelegraph’s requests for comments. Binance declined to comment.Related: Binance plans to become registered UK firm despite regulatory setbacksAfter facing major regulatory challenges in the second and third quarters of 2021, Binance is now looking to expand its footprint in the Asia Pacific region. The Singapore arm of the crypto trading giant recently acquired an 18% stake in a local private securities exchange, Hg Exchange. The crypto exchange giant led another $1.5 million funding round for an Asian tokenized messaging platform, the BBS Network.Apart from new acquisitions and fundings, Binance’s sister company in the United States, Binance.US, is reportedly in the final stages of closing a multi-million funding round. Changpeng Zhao, the CEO of the global exchange, had revealed in November this year that the firm is expected to raise “a couple hundred million.”

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