Jakarta - Bank Indonesia is
taking a firm stance against cryptocurrencies as it urges all parties to
refrain from owning, selling or trading the tokens.
“Owning virtual currencies is very risky and inherently speculative,”
the central bank said in a statement on Saturday.
The digital tokens “are
prone to forming asset bubbles and tend to be used as method for money
laundering and terrorism funding, so it has the potential to affect
financial-system stability and harm the public.”
The move highlights the challenge faced by regulators as they seek to
manage potential risks from the global cryptocurrency mania while
lacking the authority to prohibit its use.
South Korea’s central bank
banned employees from trading cryptocurrencies on the job last week,
while China has outlined proposals to discourage bitcoin mining, the
process by which the virtual currency enters circulation.
Bank Indonesia’s statement follows its
earlier ban on financial technology companies using cryptocurrencies for
transactions in January, which doesn’t prohibit trading of the digital
While the authority reiterates an existing ban on
payment-system providers under its watch from processing transactions
using digital currencies, PT Bitcoin Indonesia, a virtual-currency
exchange that boasts more than 940 000 members, doesn’t fall under its