Indonesia Vice Presidential Candidate Promises to Create 'Crypto Experts' as Election Looms

The country's dynamic crypto market has been a focus for politicians looking to use it to fuel economic growth.

AccessTimeIconDec 19, 2023 at 10:18 a.m. UTC
Updated May 9, 2024 at 5:05 p.m. UTC

Gibran Rakabuming Raka, a vice presidential candidate in Indonesia's upcoming election, said he plans to create blockchain and crypto experts in the country during an event last week.

Gibran, the eldest son of Indonesian President Joko Widodo, was chosen by presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto to be his running mate in the February election. The 36-year-old politician plans to boost tech education in the country to provide more opportunities for young people, including in digital assets.

"We are preparing blockchain experts, we are preparing cyber security experts, we are preparing crypto experts," Gibran reportedly said at a political gathering on Dec. 10.

Indonesia is a fast crypto adopter not just in Southeast Asia but the world, placing seventh on Chainalysis’ 2023 global crypto adoption index. The country has an estimated 18 million crypto investors and a powerful industry association that also acts as a self-regulatory body. Widodo’s government has tried to leverage this interest in crypto to generate revenue and interest in the country, even setting up a local “stock market” for crypto assets.

Although Gibran is the first to mention crypto, other candidates could also address the topic in an upcoming political debate on Feb. 4. Prabowo and Gibran are the election frontrunners, according to recent polls, and their interest in the sector could rub off on other candidates.

Gibran’s comment also reflects his wider goal of positioning Indonesia at the forefront of the global digital revolution. The presidential election is expected to start on Feb. 14.

Edited by Sandali Handagama.


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Shenna Peter

Shenna Peter is a Senior Editor at CoinDesk Indonesia.