Luno's position on Bank of Indonesia statement
The central bank of Indonesia, Bank Indonesia (BI), recently issued a statement about digital currencies.
Here is Luno’s position (and actions) regarding three areas of interest:
- Using digital currencies as a payment mechanism
- Owning digital currencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum
- Buying, selling and trading digital currencies.
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. 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 only allow individuals in Indonesia to open an account, not companies.
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. Or the fact that many people treat Bitcoin as a long-term asset, rather than a day-to-day currency.
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. We’d like to repeat that customers should spend as much time as possible to learn about digital currencies. Never spend more on speculative technologies or assets than you can afford to lose.
The BI has not banned the ownership of digital currencies.
Luno has always taken a pragmatic and long-term view on digital currencies. We spend a lot of time and resources on warning against the risks, scams, phishing, volatile runaway markets and providing guidance on security.
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 it does warn about the risks 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. We encourage responsible trading. Don’t invest in anything you don’t understand and don’t spend more than you can afford to lose.
Luno takes regulatory compliance very seriously. Since our founding in 2013, we have been at the forefront of digital currency compliance — drawing 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.