The Indonesian government is looking into the possibilities of launching a digital currency. This controversial decision comes just weeks after they declared Bitcoin and all other cryptocurrencies illegal as a means of payment.
According to a statement from the Indonesian Trade Ministry, the Indonesian government is looking into issuing a digital version of the Indonesian rupiah. Susiato Dewi, the assistant to the Bank Indonesia executive director for payments system, said that a possible digital currency would be evaluated over the coming year. The idea is that a digital rupiah could help make payment systems in Indonesia more efficient.
Like many other countries looking into similar possibilities, the digital Indonesian currency would not be a separate currency but rather an extension of the Indonesian rupiah that’s already in use in Indonesia.
“The physical banknotes we currently use may be converted into digital money. However, no country has released such money yet,” Dewi mentioned in an official statement.
Aren’t Cryptocurrencies Illegal in Indonesia?
The decision to evaluate a nation-wide digital currency is quite controversial since Indonesia made it illegal to use cryptocurrencies as a means of payment just a few weeks ago. Although, there are, of course, big differences between a cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin and a digital version of a currency. And just like Dewi mentioned, Indonesia isn’t the only country looking into launching a nation-based cryptocurrency.
- The Swedish government is also looking into launching a cryptocurrency called the e-krona, and just like in Indonesia the digital krona would function as a digital version of the krona that already exists in the country.
- The Japanese government is working on a digital currency called the J-Coin that will be launched in 2020. In fact, Japan is the only country that has an actual action plan in order, and the goal is to launch the J-Coin in connection with the Olympic Games in Tokyo.
- Russian officials are evaluating the possibility of creating a crypto-rubel in order to avoid sanctions from the West.
- Moreover, Canada, Ecuador, Venezuela, Tunisia, and Estonia are working on finding digital currency solutions for the future.
However, so far no country has actually launched a fully functioning cryptocurrency and it seems like the Indonesian government will wait in order to avoid being first.