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Luno’s position on Bank Indonesia's statement

Werner van Rooyen
2 minute read

The central bank of Indonesia, Bank Indonesia (BI), recently issued a statement regarding the use and ownership of digital currencies. Here is Luno’s position (and actions) regarding three areas of interest:

  1. Using digital currencies as payment mechanism
  2. Owning digital currencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum
  3. Buying, selling and trading digital currencies

bank-indonesia

Ban: Digital currencies as payment mechanism

First, BI has affirmed that digital currencies are “not allowed to be used for payment in Indonesia”. The Indonesian Rupiah (IDR) is the only means of payment that may be used and accepted by individuals and businesses conducting transactions within Indonesia.  

Luno acknowledges the BI statement and urges our Indonesian customers not to use any digital currencies as a means of payment. In addition, Luno no longer offers merchant API in Indonesia: this removes a means by which businesses could accept digital currency as a means of payment.  We also do not allow businesses in Indonesia to register for an account with Luno, only individuals.

The use of Bitcoin for payments has reduced over the past year, in Indonesia and elsewhere in the world. This could be due to the increased network activity and transaction fees associated with Bitcoin payments, and/or the fact that many people treat Bitcoin as a long-term asset, rather than a currency for day-to-day transactions.

Warning: Risk of ownership of digital currencies

The BI statement also warns that “ownership of virtual currency is highly risky and loaded with speculations”.  

Luno agrees with this statement and we’d like to repeat that customers should spend as much time as possible to learn about digital currencies and to never spend more on speculative technologies or assets than they can afford to lose.

However, please note that the BI has not banned the ownership of digital currencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum.

Luno has always taken a pragmatic and long-term view on digital currencies like Bitcoin. We spend a lot of time and resources on consumer education, warning our customers against the risks, scams, phishing, volatile runaway markets and providing guidance on how to keep their accounts safe from hackers.

Warning: Trading of digital currencies

Lastly, BI states “that the trade value is highly volatile” and warns people that “virtual currencies are vulnerable to bubble risks”.

Again, the BI statement does not ban the trading, buying or selling of digital currencies, but does provide a risk warning in relation to the buying, selling or trading of digital currency in Indonesia.

We support BI’s comments on the risk of trading, buying and selling digital currencies. We’d like to repeat these warnings to our customers and we encourage responsible trading: don’t invest in anything you don’t understand and don’t invest more than you can afford to lose.

Summary

Luno takes regulatory compliance very seriously. Since our founding in 2013, we have been at the forefront of digital currency compliance — taking guidance from existing financial regulations— and we've been working closely with governments, banks, regulators and financial institutions in Indonesia and around the world.

We are also working closely with other digital currency and blockchain companies in Indonesia to provide the regulators with more information on the global use, evolution and regulation of digital currencies.

Avatar Werner van Rooyen
Author

Werner van Rooyen

Werner heads up Marketing and Communications at Luno. His passions include payments, e-commerce, technology, marketing and design: something that he has been fortunate enough to do on three different continents. Werner has lived and worked in South Africa, the United States, Indonesia, Taiwan and China.

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