Bitcoin Adopters Could Soon Overtake Stock Traders in Indonesia
Indonesia’s biggest exchange platform for cryptocurrencies including bitcoin could soon outrank the national stock exchange by sheer numbers of participants.
A single cryptocurrency exchange in Indonesia could soon have more registered users than the country’s 106-year old stock exchange. If the value of bitcoin and the wider cryptocurrency market is in a rut, Indonesians have missed the memo.
Speaking to Bloomberg, Indonesia Digital Asset Exchange (INDODAX) chief executive Oscar Darmawan claims the platform is on track to have 1.5 million KYC-registered users by the end of the 2018. With thousands of new users registering every day, the crypto exchange currently sees 1.14 million users after opening its doors in 2014.
In contrast, the Indonesia Stock Exchange, the country’s national stock exchange, has a total of 1.18 million registered participants that trade stocks, futures, exchange-traded funds and options of listed companies worth a combined $520 billion, Bloomberg adds. The current combined market cap of cryptocurrencies stands at $355 billion, down from an all-time high of nearly $830 billion in early January this year.
Bali-based INDODAX, formerly Bitcoin.co.id before a rebrand, offers fiat-to-bitcoin purchases to domestic users alongside crypto-to-crypto trading wherein bitcoin can be swapped for a handful of other supported coins including Ethereum, Ripple, Litecoin, DASH, Stellar and more. The executive further revealed that the exchange is currently facilitating an average of 100 billion rupiah ($7.3 million) in trading volume every day, a figure he hopes to double by the end of the year.
The insights are particularly noteworthy in underlining a continuing trend of heightening retail investors’ interest in cryptocurrencies. Indonesia, in particular, harbors a hostile environment toward cryptocurrencies due to authorities repeated crackdowns.
While the central bank, Bank Indonesia, hasn’t banned cryptocurrency exchanges in the country, the institution’s governor has previously threatened legal action against bitcoin adopters using the cryptocurrency for payments. After the central bank has outlawed cryptocurrencies as legal tender, there have been reports of authorities swooping in on establishments accepting the cryptocurrency in Bali.
Still, Indonesians’ appetite for cryptocurrency continues to grow, despite the central bank urging ‘all parties’ in the country to refrain from selling, buying or trading cryptocurrencies in a recent January warning.
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