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Indonesia Unveils New Clearing House, Bourse for Cryptos

Indonesia has recently introduced a national platform for crypto assets, aiming to bolster investor protection and furnish regulators with comprehensive transaction records. This move comes as the government seeks to fortify supervision of the thriving sector amid a shift in regulatory oversight, as stated by the Commodity Futures Trading Regulatory Agency (Bappebti).

Indonesia permits crypto investment but bans the use of these digital assets for payments. Notably, the sector experienced a significant surge while the pandemic raged. As of June 2023, the number of people investing in digital assets reached an impressive 17.54 million, surpassing the count of registered investors on the stock exchange.

However, the demand for crypto assets has experienced a decline due to rising global interest rates in recent months. During the January–June period, crypto transactions in the country witnessed a 68.7% decrease compared to the previous year, amounting to $4.42 billion (66.44 trillion rupiah). The most frequently traded cryptocurrencies during this period included Bitcoin, Tether, Ripple, Ethereum and Binance Coin.

The newly launched bourse will feature licensed crypto companies such as Binance’s Indodax and Tokocrypto, among others, conducting trades. Overseeing the operations, PT Bursa Komoditi Nusantara will run the bourse, and PT Kliring Berjangka Indonesia is slated to manage transaction clearings. Furthermore, PT Tennet Depository Indonesia was appointed as the storage manager for crypto assets.

New legislation that was signed earlier this year stipulated that Bappebti will hand over regulation, management and control of cryptocurrency to the Financial Services Authorities after a two-year transition period.

Earlier in 2023, news emerged that Indonesia and India were exploring the possibility of linking their fast payment systems. Likewise, the UAE and India had already reached an agreement to establish connections between their payment systems and facilitate trade in their local currencies, contributing to the ongoing trend of dedollarization in the region.

On a different note, the proposed “Crypto Assets National Security Enhancement Act of 2023” in the United States has encountered resistance from prominent blockchain advocacy groups, including the Blockchain Association and CoinCenter. These organizations argue that the bill is unconstitutional, poses threats to free expression and clashes with the principles of web3. Concerns regarding its broad scope and practicality have cast doubt on its viability and potential negative implications.

While the act is still under consideration, its future as law remains uncertain. Nonetheless, its proposal reflects the U.S. government’s proactive approach to regulating the crypto industry.

The enactment of a clear regulatory framework will go a long way in clarifying to major industry actors such as Coinbase Global Inc. (NASDAQ: COIN) the parameters within which they can operate, innovate and drive forward the growth of the crypto industry.

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