The Rise of Blockchain Technology in Indonesia

February 6, 2018

As the fourth most populous country in the world, Indonesia is a home to a largely cash-based and offline community as 80% of the population is unbanked. Although it may seem like a serious challenge, but many financial analysts believe that unbanked users could be the next big thing in digital currency, especially blockchain. It’s because the digital currency doesn’t necessarily require users to have a bank account.

In fact, Indonesian government is actually pretty keen on blockchain technology although Bank Indonesia has just recently issued a ban on Bitcoin, one of the utilizations of blockchain. With this seemingly positive support from the government, how will blockchain technology thrive in Indonesia?

Blockchain is something unavoidable

Indonesia is set to prohibit the use of cryptocurrencies within the nation. More specifically, Bank Indonesia has discouraged the use of Bitcoin and warned against its use, stating that it violates Indonesian laws.

Interestingly, Bank Indonesia (BI) is very open to the implementation of blockchain, the technology that is used as the backend of Bitcoin. Quoted from Tempo.co, BI Executive Director for Payment System Policy Department, Eny V. Panggabean even said that the blockchain technology should be developed further.

And it looks like the Indonesian government is also on board because the Minister of Communication and Informatics (Menkominfo) Rudiantara openly supports blockhain technology. Quoted from the Kominfo’s website page, Rudiantara said that blockchain is something that is just unavoidable. He personally supports blockchain since it gives transparency in every transaction. For example, in transferring money, blockchain allows us to know where the money comes from. He says it will be able to indirectly assist the performance of the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK).

Also, since Bank Indonesia and the Indonesian government have given their approval on the blockchain technology development, it seems like blockchain is heading into a brighter future. In fact, according to Bitlex.win, there are already five major Indonesian banks that seem to be preparing to implement blockchain technology. These banks—BNI, BRI, Bank Mandiri, Bank Danamon, and Bank Permata—will collaborate with IBM, the technology giant based in the United States.

Companies and communities that focus on blockchain

Blockchain development is expected to move forward with extra support from companies and communities which focus to work in this particular field. One of them is Blockchain Zoo, a native Indonesian company headquartered in Ubud, Bali. It is the only company in Indonesia that fully focuses on blockchain consulting. Blockchain Zoo provides materials for several blockchain applications, such as Letter of Credit, Anti-Fraud, and Supply Chain Management.

Beside Blockchain Zoo, there is also a community called Indonesian Blockchain Network where a group of blockchain developers and enthusiasts meet. They want blockchain technology to be properly implemented so that it can revolutionize how data, value, assets, and contracts are interacted without the need for the third parties. In order to achieve that goal, Indonesian Blockchain Network needs to raise awareness for blockchain technology by organizing meetups, workshops, as well as administering unbiased online blockchain-related content.

Blockchain technology promises transparency and efficiency, which brings a positive outcome. With the support from the government, industries and communities, we think it is only a matter of time until the blockchain technology is widely used within the nation.

Harry Surjanto is an Indonesian business and technology executive who currently serves as CEO and founder of PT Computrade Technology International (CTI Group), a leading IT solution and service provider in Indonesia. With his previous experience at a system integrator company, Surjanto has marked 27 years of career in IT and service industry. His expertise covers business strategy, people development and channel management. Surjanto got his bachelor degree in Electronic Engineering from Satya Wacana Christian University and master degree in Business Administration from Pelita Harapan University.

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