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Bitcoin banned as a method of payment, adopters will be "treated": Indonesian Central Bank

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The head of Indonesia's Bank Indonesia Bank has threatened to act against bitcoin adopters if cryptocurrency is used as a method of payment.

First reported by CCN in early 2014, the country's central bank issued a public notice warning citizens to pay attention to adopting virtual currencies. "Bank Indonesia declares that Bitcoin and other virtual currencies are not valid currencies or payment instruments in Indonesia," reads an excerpt from BI's statement at the time.

The Governor of the Bank of Indonesia (BI), Agus Martowardojo, reaffirmed the position of the monetary authority that bitcoin is not a legal payment method in the country.

The governor of the central bank reportedly said in Jakarta last week: "I must emphasize that BI does not consider Bitcoin as an official means of payment in Indonesia, so everyone should know not to use Bitcoin as a means of payment. There is a risk.

The central bank pointed out that any new financial innovation must obtain the approval of Bank Indonesia – according to a number of requirements – before being used or adopted as a method payment in the country. In addition, the official doubled with the threat of those who defy the order of the central bank.

He said:

When the BI has claimed that Bitcoin is not a valid payment instrument, those who use it will be processed. I do not want violations in Indonesia.

Missing the tail

The uncompromising stance of the Indonesian monetary authority against bitcoin comes despite the regulatory acceptance of bitcoin among its regional neighbors. Earlier this year, the central bank of the Philippines issued regulations on bitcoin exchanges as part of a legislative initiative that has recognized and legalized bitcoin in the country. This month, the Deputy Director of the Central Bank of the Philippines announced this decision as a "pioneering regulation".

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In his embracive approach to bitcoin, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), deputy director of Melchor Plabasan:

It is like any other monetary instrument [and even] an instrument of investment. There are risks but essentially it can be managed. If you want something that is fast, almost real-time and practical, then there is the advantage of using virtual currencies like Bitcoin .

In August, the Australian government regulated the Bitcoin industry for the first time. This week, new bills offering easier access to FinTech startups and initial coin offerings (ICO) on the market have been called "game changer" by Australian Treasurer Scott Morrison.

Disclaimer: Some statements have been unofficially translated from Indonesian.

Image from Bank Indonesia of Shutterstock.