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The Legal Landscape of Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency in Indonesia

Adam Ilyas

The Legal Landscape of Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency in Indonesia

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Illustration of bitcoin and cryptocurrency

Literasi Hukum – The emergence of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies has presented unique legal challenges around the world. This article aims to shed light on the legal status and regulations surrounding Bitcoin and cryptocurrency in Indonesia. As a country with a rapidly growing digital economy, Indonesia has taken significant steps to regulate these digital assets and provide a framework for their use within the boundaries of existing laws.

Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency Legal Status

The Bank of Indonesia, the country’s central bank, does not recognize Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies as legal tender. In 2014, the bank issued a statement cautioning the public about the risks associated with virtual currencies, including potential money laundering and terrorist financing. While cryptocurrencies are not considered legal currency, they are not explicitly banned either.

Regulatory Framework

To regulate the use of cryptocurrencies, the Indonesian government introduced regulations in 2019 through the issuance of the Commodity Futures Trading Regulatory Agency (BAPPEBTI) Regulation No. 5 of 2019. This regulation classifies cryptocurrencies as commodities and provides guidelines for their trading on cryptocurrency exchanges. It requires cryptocurrency exchanges to register with BAPPEBTI, meet certain capital requirements, and implement robust anti-money laundering and consumer protection measures.


In 2018, the Indonesian Ministry of Finance declared that cryptocurrencies are subject to taxation. Cryptocurrency transactions, including buying, selling, and exchanging, are subject to income tax, value-added tax (VAT), and capital gains tax. However, the implementation and enforcement of these tax regulations are still evolving, and further guidance from the tax authorities is expected.

Consumer Protection

In an effort to safeguard consumers’ interests, the Indonesian government requires cryptocurrency exchanges to implement strict Know Your Customer (KYC) and anti-money laundering (AML) procedures. This ensures that exchanges collect sufficient information about their users and report suspicious activities to the authorities. These measures aim to mitigate risks such as fraud, identity theft, and money laundering associated with cryptocurrency transactions.

Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs)

Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) are fundraising methods used by cryptocurrency projects to raise capital. In Indonesia, ICOs are regulated by the Financial Services Authority (OJK). Startups planning to launch ICOs must meet certain requirements, including obtaining OJK approval, conducting thorough due diligence, and providing detailed information about their project and token issuance.

Blockchain Technology

The Indonesian government recognizes the potential of blockchain technology and its applications beyond bitcoin and cryptocurrencies. The Ministry of Communication and Information Technology has initiated several blockchain-related projects, including exploring the use of blockchain in supply chain management, e-governance, and land registry systems. However, the regulatory framework for blockchain technology is still developing, and further guidelines are expected in the future.


In Indonesia, the legal status and regulatory framework surrounding Bitcoin and cryptocurrency are evolving. While not considered legal tender, cryptocurrencies are not prohibited either. The government has taken significant steps to regulate cryptocurrency exchanges, ensure consumer protection, and combat money laundering. As the digital economy continues to grow, it is crucial for individuals and businesses to stay informed about the latest developments and comply with the existing regulations. It is advisable to consult legal and tax professionals for guidance on cryptocurrency-related activities in Indonesia.

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