An Indonesian financial watchdog has set out new regulations for the trading of crypto assets on futures exchanges in the country.
The Commodity Futures Trading Regulatory Agency (Bappebti), an agency under Indonesia's Ministry of Trade, announced the new rules Monday, stating that cryptocurrency futures exchanges must be registered and approved before operating.
The agency has also confirmed that crypto assets are officially recognized as commodities that can be traded on the country’s futures exchange – a decision first reported last June.
The agency's chief Indrasari Wisnu Wardhana said in Monday’s statement that the regulations have been put in place to provide legal certainty to the crypto futures sector, as well to protect consumers and investors.
In a document detailing the full rules and registration requirements, Bappebti said that futures exchanges and clearing houses dealing in crypto assets must have paid-up capital of at least 1.5 trillion Indonesian rupiahs ($106 million) and must maintain a closing capital balance of at least 1.2 trillion Indonesian rupiahs ($85 million).
They are also required to have "good level of system security" and a minimum of three employees who are Certified Information System Security Professionals (CISSP). They must also undergo a risk assessment process, the agency said, including confirming anti-money laundering (AML) and combating the financing of terrorism (CFT) compliance.
Bappebti has also set out rules for futures traders and storage services providers of crypto assets, stating that both must also be approved before operating and both must maintain minimum paid-up capital of 1 trillion Indonesian rupiahs ($71 million) and a minimum closing balance of 800 billion Indonesian rupiahs ($57 million).
The agency clarified that the new rules do not apply to initial coin offerings (ICOs). Using cryptocurrencies as a means of payment is reportedly still barred in the country.
According to Reuters, the country's crypto traders are unhappy that the watchdog has set the minimum capital so high, arguing it will hold back development of the nascent market.
The CEO of digital asset trader Indodax, Oscar Darmawan, told the news source that the “very large” capital requirement is above what is required for launching a rural bank and far higher than the 2.5 billion rupiah ($177,000) minimum paid-up capital for futures traders of more traditional commodities.
The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.