Blockchain Startup Installs Crypto Point-of-Sale Devices in Indonesia Despite Regulations

Blockchain startup Pundi X has begun rolling out its cryptocurrency point-of-sales (POS) devices in Indonesia, betting that the central bank will discard its current anti-cryptocurrency stance within three years, the South China Morning Post reported June 4.

A POS terminal is an electronic device used to process card or electronic payments at sales outlets. The idea behind the startup’s devices is to make digital currencies a medium of daily exchange, letting people use virtual currencies to buy necessities like food products in retail stores, cafes and shopping malls where merchants have installed the POS devices.

While cryptocurrency is not legally recognized as a payment instrument in Indonesia, the company’s chief legal counsel David Ben Kay said that the deployment of the POS devices would be completed regardless of regulatory developments. Kay said this is because the device’s cryptocurrency function is not the default option, and it supports payment methods that are compliant with current regulations. He explained:

“The functionality for dealing in cryptocurrency is not automatic, it has to be activated when it is legally permissible in any jurisdiction that the POS is being deployed by the retail store owners.”

Kay suggested that it is only a matter of time before Asian authorities soften their position toward digital currencies. Pundi X has decided to debut its product and services in Indonesia because of the large population and largely cash-based economy.

Pundi X has reportedly said that it received pre-orders for the POS devices from  Indonesia, South Korea, Japan, Singapore and Switzerland. The company plans to install up to 100,000 POS devices to build its blockchain-based payment network in Southeast Asia by 2021. This ostensibly would enable the 80 percent of the Indonesian population that does not have access to banking services to start purchasing and selling cryptocurrencies.

Today, the Indonesian Trade Ministry’s Futures Exchange Supervisory Board (Bappebti) signed a decree making cryptocurrency a commodity legally tradable on a stock exchange. Dharma Yoga, a Bappebti official, noted that the Indonesian government will soon release legislation on regulating currency exchange companies, taxation, and combating money laundering and terrorism financing.