The Indonesian Presidential Election is scheduled to take place on Valentine’s Day, February 14, this year. Being one of the emerging economies in the world and one of the major cryptocurrency players in Southeast Asia, the crypto community is bracing itself for the potential shakeup the event could bring to the market.
Crypto Adoption in the SEA Region
The Southeast Asian (SEA) region is considered to be a hotbed for crypto adoption. Chainalysis’ 2023 Global Crypto Adoption Index Top 20 shows four countries from the region dominating up to the 10th position of the rankings.
Leading the region is Vietnam in the third place of the list. Indonesia happens to be seventh, which is just a rank down from the Philippines, while the number 10 position goes to Thailand.
Among them, Indonesia has the largest economy and is viewed by analysts as one of the emerging market economies on a global scale. At present, it has the 16th largest economy in the world according to Asia Fund Managers.
Given these, it comes as no surprise that market movers are closely watching the developments in the ongoing campaign for the 2024 Indonesian Presidential Election.
Indonesia Crypto Ban
Indonesia’s current treatment of cryptocurrencies is a peculiar one. The country’s Otoritas Jasa Keuangan (OJK) or Financial Services Authority bars people from utilizing them as payment.
“OJK has strictly prohibited financial service institutions from using, marketing, and/or facilitating crypto asset trading,” said an official statement from OKJ Commissioner Wimboh Santoso two years ago. The regulator likewise warned people about their price fluctuations and tendency to be used in Ponzi schemes.
On the other hand, the nation’s Commodity Futures Trading Regulatory Agency (BAPPEBTI) allows their sales in commodities exchange and trading it supervises. Outgoing President Joko Widodo has also expressed his interest in crypto regulation and asset tokenization. However, with the 2024 elections coming up, there’s uncertainty in terms of his successor’s take on the matter.
2024 Indonesian Presidential Candidates on Crypto
It seems most of the leading candidates of the Indonesian Presidential Election have been dodging the topic of cryptocurrencies according to a report from Coindesk. Leading candidate Ganjar Prabowo and his running mate Mahfud MD, a constitutional law expert, have both been mum on the subject. There was an instance in 2022 though when Ganjar, during his term as Governor of Central Java, gave a positive remark on the creativity of non-fungible tokens (NFTs).
Meanwhile, the darling of the ruling party led by current Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto appears to be more inclined to strengthening Indonesia’s crypto sector. His running mate and Widodo’s son, Gibran Rakabuming Raka, has earlier laid down his plan to improve the country’s tech industry by tapping the blockchain and crypto experts.
Prabowo also said that he is looking to improve the supervision of tax compliance of stock and crypto traders. Basically, Widodo’s groomed successors are merely carrying out the current admin’s roadmap in wider blockchain and cryptocurrency adoption for the country.