Signs of Increasing Crypto Adoption in Indonesia

Cryptocurrency investments in Indonesia have grown significantly between 2020-2022, accounting for 4% of the country’s population invested in cryptography.

According to Indonesia’s Commodity Futures Trading Regulatory Agency, crypto transaction volumes surpassed $34 billion in 2021.

This growth has shaped a new mindset towards crypto investments, especially in the mainstream media. An example of the growing appeal of cryptocurrencies in the mainstream is the participation of Indonesian celebrities and influencers.

Crypto Adoption Among Celebrities

Celebrities and influencers in Indonesia seem to be much more involved in the Indonesian crypto investment industry since 2021.

Many have become brand ambassadors for exchanges and crypto projects to help promote them and essentially increase trading volume.

The participation of individuals such as Joe Taslim, an Indonesian actor who has gone global, and Indonesian models and actresses Jessica Iskandar and Shandy Aulia is perhaps unsurprising, given the inescapable presence of celebrities in advertising and branding.

Some celebrities have even created their own cryptocurrency.

The trend of celebrity tokens has exploded, especially after one of the most prominent musicians in Indonesia, Anang Hermansyah, created his own token.

As of February 2022, three tokens have gone viral in Indonesia: VCG (VCG), Asix (ASIX) and I-Coin (ICN).

Asix is ​​led by Anang Hermansyah, a prominent figure in the Indonesian music industry.

VCG went viral thanks to a collaboration with RANS Entertainment. This company is owned by Raffi Ahmad and Nagita Slavina, a married couple who are prominent movie stars and business figures in Indonesia and recently nominated as the Sultans of Contents by Forbes Indonesia.

I-Coin was created by Wirda Mansur, a public figure and daughter of a famous Indonesian Muslim cleric.

The name of celebrities who support them and their marketing team has made their token viral and has gotten a lot of fear of missing out, or FOMO, from the budding investors in Indonesia.

But long before that, the trend started with an influencer named Indra Kenz, who created his own token with his team called Botxcoin (BOTX).

Related: Indonesian crypto industry in 2021: a kaleidoscope

Celebrity NFT Projects

BOTX, an Ethereum-based project that plans to become a decentralized social trading platform, launched in 2021.

BOTX is the first celebrity token in Indonesia and its goal is to become the first decentralized cryptocurrency trading platform in Indonesia.

After the launch, influencers seemed to pay more attention to the growing blockchain and crypto trend. The trend led to an array of influencers talking about cryptocurrency on their own social media.

When this happened, nonfungible tokens (NFTs) also became very popular in Indonesia, especially when the Indonesian NFT collection called “Ghozali Everyday” became known worldwide for its uniqueness.

Due to the booming crypto and NFT trends, influencers and celebrities have started creating their own NFT and cryptocurrency projects.

One Indonesian celebrity who created their own NFT projects and went viral worldwide was Syahrini, an Indonesian singer and socialite.

Under the pseudonym Princess Syahrini, she created an NFT collection and sold it on Binance’s NFT marketplace. It was reported that her NFT collection “Syahrini’s Metaverse Tour” sold out after just eight hours.

Another prominent figure in the Indonesian entertainment industry who created their own NFT project was actress, model and singer Luna Maya.

She launched her collection consisting of just 10 NFTs with Tokau, a Japan-based art company with experience in creating NFTs.

Her collection was sold on the BakerySwap NFT Marketplace and captured much attention, also from Changpeng Zhao, CEO of Binance.

The trend continued with more celebrities in Indonesia exploring, promoting and creating their own NFT projects.

An example of recent Indonesian influencers and celebrities promoting NFT projects was actor Brandon Salim, renowned Indonesian chef Arnold Poernomo and influencer known as Jejouw.

They promoted one of the most successful NFT projects in Indonesia going global, “Karafuru”, with a current trading volume of 37,200 Ether (ETH).

government response

With the runaway hype of celebrities creating their own NFT and crypto projects, regulators are stepping in to protect investors.

The Commodity Futures Trading Regulatory Agency, also known as BAPPEBTI, is currently warning celebrities to get their projects approved in the Indonesian legal crypto list before promoting them.

BAPPEBTI, which is responsible for the regulation of cryptocurrencies in Indonesia, warns that there are only 229 cryptocurrencies that are legal to trade and transact in Indonesia.

With that warning, BAPPEBTI wants investors to understand that buying or selling celebrity-made tokens in Indonesia is not yet legal. The warning comes from a Twitter thread, created when new investors got started to pour money in celebrity viral tokens:

“New crypto assets traded in Indonesia must be registered under BAPPEBTI through registered crypto exchanges in Indonesia to be assessed under the rules applied in Indonesia. For that reason, crypto-assets that are not registered on BAPPEBTI’s list of legal crypto-assets cannot be traded in Indonesia.”

At the moment, most of the illegal cryptocurrencies have not been fined or convicted as most of them are in talks with BAPPEBTI. BAPPEBTI is open to new cryptocurrencies that are legal in Indonesia, as long as they comply with the requirements and processes to be legal and supervised by the agency.

Currently, there is no question of banning these tokens from the government, but rather a invitation to be these tokens mention as a legal commodity in Indonesia.

BAPPEBTI has also worked with its committees, such as the Indonesia Blockchain Association, to help create a better environment for crypto in Indonesia, especially with the rise of celebrity tokens.

Coinvestasi has successfully received a comment from the aforementioned committee on the topic of celebrity tokens.

The comment came directly from the chairman of the Indonesian Blockchain Association. She stated:

“My view on the celebrity token trend in Indonesia is neutral as long as they comply with the existing regulations, because in recent years there are many Indonesians who have created their own cryptocurrencies. But what I think is important for Indonesian developers to understand is that their cryptocurrencies should have values ​​for investors and users and should have something that sets them apart from other existing cryptocurrencies. This is because they have a responsibility towards their investors and token holders. Developers need to work together to help change the mindset of cryptocurrencies as a scam in Indonesia.”

This statement clearly shows that the government wants the best for crypto investors and creators in Indonesia. It can be concluded that the Indonesian government supports the growth of cryptocurrencies as long as it is done in a regulated and secure manner.

Growing crypto adoption in Indonesia

The trend of celebrities and influencers working together to create and promote crypto projects has expanded Indonesia’s crypto landscape.

Facts showed that growth has been exponential, with transaction volumes growing more than 100% since 2020, largely supported by retail investors.

Institutions also became interested, such as proven through their participation in funding and investments in blockchain or crypto-related projects.

Major business conglomerate Sinar Mas backed the launch of a new cryptocurrency called NanoByte (NBT), which partners Tokocrypto Exchange.

Nanobyte is a token created by an exchange that also plans to be integrated into the current fiat payment system, integrated with e-money and credit cards in Indonesia. This is to help investors and holders use their crypto wallets and NBT to pay in their day to day needs.

Another example is BRI Ventures, the venture arm of one of Indonesia’s leading government banks, which has created an accelerator that acts as an incubator for Indonesian blockchain companies to grow globally.

These projects could create a knock-on effect for Indonesian financial institutions to invest in the blockchain or crypto sector.

But this is also putting pressure on regulators to develop new regulations to support growth so that Indonesia does not lag behind.

Reporting by Muhammad Naufal.

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