Indonesia’s Commodities Regulator Approves Asia-Pacific Crypto Exchange

Indonesia’s Commodity Futures Trading Regulatory Agency, also known as Bappebti, has given the green light to crypto exchange provider Zipmex.

The approval is the latest in Zipmex’s series of applications to regulators in the Asia-Pacific region, where it has already secured a go-ahead from Thai and Australian authorities. 

Regulated operations across Asia-Pacific

Speaking to Cointelegraph on March 10, Zipmex’s chief legal officer Bank Yimwilai explained the exchange’s approach to navigating different regulatory regimes across the region:

“Even though each jurisdiction has its own sets of rules and regulations, they are rooted in core principles of good corporate governance, strong custody solutions and comprehensive KYC/AML [Know Your Customer and Anti-Money Laundering] policies.” 

Despite “nuances and small differences,” these regimes are largely similar, he said, adding that in some cases, discrepancies can in fact help to raise compliance standards overall:

“Operating across multiple regions has allowed us to adopt the best practice from each particular region. For example, we adopt AML policies that satisfies AUSTRAC, the Australian regulator that regulates money laundering. In addition, SEC Thailand requires institutional-grade custody solutions of digital assets, which we then use in all of the markets that we operate in.”

Indonesia

As of February 2020, all crypto exchanges operating in Indonesia have been required to register with Bappebti to legally offer cryptocurrency trading services. To be successful with their application to the agency, they must prove they have secure risk control management, security and transaction systems in place. 

Exchange registration requirements with Bappebti form part of a broader legal framework for crypto assets as trading commodities initiated in 2019. 

Late last year, Zipmex began to make inroads with its Indonesian platform by partnering with the Indonesian interbank network ALTO to optimize its banking and payment infrastructure.

Having thus far received over $35 million in Bitcoin (BTC) transactions, Lim says Zipmex is focused on offering seamless onboarding for the local currency, Rupiah, as a means of expanding financial inclusion through crypto in the country.

Future expansion

Beyond Rupiah, the exchange supports fiat-to-crypto pairings in U.S., Australian and Singaporean dollars.

For its platform in Singapore, Zipmex is at present registered with the de facto central bank and regulator, the Monetary Authority of Singapore, and is in the process of applying for a digital payment token license under the city-state’s Payment Services Act.

Beyond Asia-Pacific, Yimwilai told Cointelegraph that global market expansion remains on the horizon for the exchange but that Zipmex is for now focused on becoming competitive in the four markets it operates in at present.

Uneven development

A recent report published by Bitfury’s blockchain analytics platform Crystal revealed that Indonesia ranks as one of the countries with the fewest registered crypto exchanges worldwide — supporting Zipmex’s claims that it has become one of the first to officially operate in the country.

By contrast, Singapore — alongside the United Kingdom, the United States, Hong Kong — counts among those with the highest number of authorized trading platforms.