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Bank Indonesia Plans State-Issued Cryptocurrency Trial




Indonesia’s central bank will trial a state-issued cryptocurrency later this year, according to reports.

At some point in 2018, Bank Indonesia (the country's central bank) will reportedly trial a state-issued cryptocurrency, which is being referred to by Indonesian media sources as the "digital rupiah."

Susiati Dewi, the assistant deputy executive director of the bank's payment systems department, said that "The physical banknotes we currently use may be converted into digital money. However, no country has released such money yet," according to a translation by The Jakarta Post. She explained that the virtual currency would be intended to make payment systems in the world's fourth most populous nation more efficient.

Susi (as she's referred to by Indonesian publications) went on to relate that the bank plans for the virtual currency to be asset-backed, though reports on her statements do not name the assets that might be in consideration. She also revealed that the bank would take into account the inflation rate affecting Indonesia's currency as it determined the number of digital rupiah to release into circulation.

In the past, the central bank's governor, Agus Martowardojo, has publicly declared that bitcoin, and apparently other decentralized cryptocurrencies by extension, are not valid instruments of payment. The rupiah alone, he explained, can be used as a legal means of payment in Indonesia.

On January 10, the head of development and market development at Indonesia's Commodity Futures Trading Supervisory Agency said that the government body was involved in discussions around the possibility of allowing bitcoin futures contracts to be traded on exchanges in the country.

Prominent figures of other governments, including those of Russia, Israel, China, and Venezuela, have floated the idea of a national digital currency, though some Venezuelan parliamentarians have opposed the "petro's" issuance. 

Source material translated by Google unless otherwise noted.

Adam Reese

Adam Reese is a Los Angeles-based writer interested in technology, domestic and international politics, social issues, infrastructure and the arts. Adam holds value in Ether, Bitcoin, and Monero.

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