Despite repeated warnings from the central bank of Indonesia about the supposed risks of cryptocurrency trading, everyday people keep turning to bitcoin in this highly populated Asian country. In fact, soon there will be more traders on just one crypto platform than there are on the local stock exchanges established over a 100 years before it.
Bitcoin Is More Popular Than Stocks
The Indonesia Digital Asset Exchange (Indodax), founded in 2014 as Bitcoin.co.id, has 1,147,430 members already on board, according to its website. That is just a bit shy of the Indonesia Stock Exchange, which opened in 1912, with only about 1.18 million registered participants according to data from the Indonesia Central Securities Depository. In fact, as the Indodax is the biggest in the country, but not the only venue to trade cryptocurrency for rupiah, it is possible that there are already more bitcoin investors than stock traders in Indonesia.
The Indodax is expected to have 1.5 million members by the end of the year, according to Chief Executive Officer Oscar Darmawan. “We are seeing almost 3,000 new members signing up everyday. Most people are trading in bitcoins though transactions in ethereum has increased significantly of late.” The cryptocurrency trading platform is targeting daily volume to double from an average 100 billion rupiah ($7.3 million) a day currently, Darmawan said.
Defying Bank Indonesia
The country’s central bank, Bank Indonesia, has in the past repeatedly issued warnings to the public regarding what it sees as the dangers of cryptocurrencies, although it has not gone as far as forcing closure of exchanges. Its crackdown has caused Indonesian bitcoin payment processors to cease operations and hurt local tourism businesses in the island of Bali. The latest figures show that there are a great deal of people willing to defy the central bank’s word among the country’s 261 million citizens.
And Indonesia is not the only emerging market known to see bitcoin trading becoming more popular than traditional securities. Earlier this year we reported that there are already more than twice as many people invested in bitcoin as those who trade stocks in Latin America’s largest economy, Brazil.
What can we learn from the fact that there are almost the same number of bitcoin investors and traditional stock traders in Indonesia? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!
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