Indonesia-based Bitcoin payment platforms TokoBitcoin and BitBayar have reportedly shut down their operations following the announcement by the country’s central bank, Bank of Indonesia, that it will not accept Bitcoin as a form of payment. The operation of Bitcoin exchanges in the country, however, was not affected by the pronouncement.
BitBayar, which is the Indonesian counterpart of Bitpay, has announced that it is stopping its services starting Nov. 1, 2017. TokoBitcoin, meanwhile, has already refrained from accepting Bitcoin as a form of payment.
According to Bitcoin exchange PT Bitcoin Indonesia chief executive officer (CEO), Oscar Darmawan, the shutdown was not due to a direct intervention by the Bank of Indonesia but rather an independent and voluntary decision by the companies.
“There have not been any direct requests from the Bank of Indonesia to Bitcoin Indonesia to close down these two websites.”
Bank of Indonesia’s position on cryptocurrencies
In September, Bank of Indonesia Director of Payment System Policy Department, Eny V. Panggabean has reiterated the position by the central bank that it will not recognize Bitcoin as a legal currency in the country. He added that the use of the leading digital currency as a currency is illegal under Indonesia’s Service Provider of Payment law.
In February 2014, Bank of Indonesia issued a statement claiming that Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are not legal as a currency or payment instruments in the country.
State of virtual currency trading in Indonesia
Based on data from Cryptocompare, the trading of Bitcoin and Indonesian Rupiah is the 10th biggest national Bitcoin market in the world as per 24-hour volume as of late October 2017.
Also, the Indonesian trading volume currently accounts for 0.18 percent of total trading volume worldwide.