Indonesia is a developing region, which spells a bright future for Bitcoin and cryptocurrency. Over the past few years, it has become apparent the country is home to a growing number of Bitcoin enthusiasts. Not entirely surprising, considering four in five residents have limited or no access to banking services.
Bitcoin Can Change Indonesia’s Economy For Good
It is evident currencies such as Bitcoin can offer something no government or financial institution can guarantee. Financial inclusion is a very fancy word thrown around a lot by policy makers and financial experts. Unfortunately, financial inclusion is not a top priority of banks and consorts, even though they will often claim it is.
One of the country’s local Bitcoin exchanges, called Bitcoin.co.id, has seen its fair share of success in recent years. With the user base growing with over 3,000 members every month, it is a clear Bitcoin demand in Indonesia is growing. Moreover, the increase in users also means a higher transaction volume every single day.
As one would come to expect from a developing region, the demand for Bitcoin stems forth from speculators, rather than users. One could argue all interest in Bitcoin is a positive trend, but unless people actively use it as a currency, it will not live up to its full potential. People who frequently trade Bitcoin are not necessarily harming the ecosystem, although they directly influence the perceived value and market cap of Bitcoin while doing so.
That does not mean Bitcoin has no use cases in Indonesia, though. The number of Bitcoin use cases remains small, as is to be expected. Merchants see the benefit of accepting cryptocurrency payments, alongside more traditional options. Some even use Bitcoin to pay utility bills, top up mobile credit, and even arranging travel accommodations.
Indonesia’s main problem is the lack of financial access for the average user. With nearly 80% of the population unbanked right now, digital solutions, such as Bitcoin, are destined to make a big impact on the market over the coming years. One of the more obvious use cases for Bitcoin in this part of the world is creating a cheaper way to send money back home.
For the time being, there is no official Bitcoin regulation in Indonesia This puts off some people who look to use cryptocurrency for goods and services, as they are unsure if BTC’s legal status will ever change. It also creates opportunities for day traders, who will take advantage of any event that may hint at a chance in Bitcoin policy. Despite the lack of official regulation, exchanges perform KYC and AML procedures, just like they would in any other country.
Header image courtesy of Shutterstock