The bitcoin economy in Indonesia has been growing lately, with its premier bitcoin buying and selling service Bitcoin Indonesia now operating a full open exchange, trading around 30 BTC per day.
While still not at the level of other larger countries, it’s certainly an improvement on the 5 BTC per day the exchange reported at its launch back in December 2013.
At that stage, CEO and active local digital currency advocate Oscar Darmawan said he aimed for the company to become a full-fledged open exchange, but that volumes would need to improve first.
It seems that has happened within just a couple of months, as interest in bitcoin and digital currency grows rapidly throughout Indonesia’s and Southeast Asia’s young and upwardly mobile population.
Bitcoin Indonesia is now running as an open exchange for all interested in entering the bitcoin ecosystem.
“We are launching our system and we are confident that our daily volume at least will reach 200 BTC daily in this semester.
So far, about 1,500 members already listed in our database and everything running better than expectation.”
The exchange’s current price is 7,150,000 rupiah, or about $629.5, close to the current CoinDesk BPI price of $626.
Darmawan has also met with local regulatory authorites to discuss bitcoin and appeared on network TV in Jakarta. He says he intends to launch more services in the coming year.
That will hopefully include a partnership with another bitcoin business to import the country’s first bitcoin vending machine (or ATM), though the project was still in its early stages.
As in other places, finding local merchants willing to accept bitcoin is proving more of a challenge than finding entrepreneurs launching bitcoin services. But even there, there has been some progress.
A popular restaurant cafe called Upstairs on Cikini (street) near Jakarta’s central business district has begun accepting bitcoin for all payments.
Co-founder Dendi Suhubdy said Bitwyre was also developing a spot and derivatives trading system and would be signing up more local businesses soon.
The company’s blog said: ”We will definitely expand to more business in Jakarta: Bakoel Coffee, Potato Head Garage Jakarta and Bali, Ku De Ta Bali, and all resto’s in Gili Trawangan.”
Indonesia is the world’s fourth most populous country and a member of the G20 group of largest economies. It is usually considered one of the world’s ‘emerging’ economies and its capital, Jakarta, has seen a boom in business and construction activity in recent years.
Author Jon Southurst