Indonesia’s Election Results May Be Good for Crypto, Industry Watchers Say

The presidential election in February initially ended in controversy when the winning duo claimed victory before official results were released.

AccessTimeIconApr 30, 2024 at 8:51 a.m. UTC
Updated May 9, 2024 at 5:03 p.m. UTC
  • The winners of Indonesia’s recent presidential election may ensure consistency for crypto policy in the country, industry watchers say.
  • Winning vice-presidential candidate of the current ruling party, Gibran Rakabuming, promised to create blockchain experts during his campaign.

Indonesia’s presidential election in February initially ended in controversy when the winning duo claimed victory before official results were released. For the crypto industry, however, this win means consistency and maybe even continued crypto-friendly regulations.

Former defense minister Prabowo Subianto and the incumbent president’s son Gibran Rakabuming had 60% of the nation’s votes immediately after polls closed, according to a Quick Count. These results – finalized last week – mean the ruling party will remain in power, and while crypto industry members are careful not to take sides, they view the election results as a sign that the country’s blockchain strategy could remain unchanged or change for the better.

Subani, the head of the national crypto bourse, CFX, told CoinDesk Indonesia that the exchange is politically neutral.

"However, it's true that during the election period and presidential debates, Mr. Gibran specifically mentioned crypto, and we're pleased about the attention to the crypto industry in Indonesia," Subani said.

Indonesia is an enthusiastic crypto adopter and Gibran made a point to mention crypto during his campaign, promising to create blockchain experts in the country.

Under Gibran’s father, President Joko Widodo’s government, Indonesia's cryptocurrency industry has enjoyed mostly unencumbered growth. Widodo’s government set up regulations for the crypto sector and launched the world’s first national bourse for crypto assets. A comprehensive tax system was also established by his government, and there are signs that it may greenlight tax cuts for crypto.

“I’m sure that Gibran, representing the younger generation, has a roadmap that will advance blockchain and crypto,” William Sutanto from INDODAX, one of the leading crypto exchanges in Indonesia, told CoinDesk Indonesia.

Sutanto hopes the government will provide full support for cryptocurrency to position Indonesia as a competitive force in Southeast Asia, especially against countries like Thailand, the Philippines and Vietnam.

Indonesia leads Southeast Asia in terms of the number of registered crypto users, but trails behind Thailand and Vietnam in terms of trading volumes.

Crypto and blockchain could stimulate the national economy and investments, according to Yudhono Rawis, CEO of Tokocrypto, another prominent local exchange. He says better infrastructure, education and clear laws are key to growing Indonesia’s crypto industry.

Editor's note: Direct quotes have been translated from Indonesian.

Edited by Sandali Handagama and Nikhilesh De.


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Shenna Peter

Shenna Peter is a Senior Editor at CoinDesk Indonesia.