Indonesia: $70 Million Capital Requirement for Bitcoin Futures Sparks Anger

February 14, 2019
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New regulation requires those looking to offer futures trading to have a starting capital of over $70 million.

Cryptocurrency traders are unhappy with regulators in Indonesia after it emerged Bitcoin (BTC) brokers now needed over $70 million to launch futures trading. Local English-language news outlet Jakarta Post reported on the development on Feb. 14.

Following new regulations which came into effect last October, trading platforms wishing to offer cryptocurrency-based instruments can do so, while cryptocurrency use remains banned.

However, in a surprise addition to the final bill, those trading platforms are required to have 1 trillion rupiah ($71.17 million) minimum capital.

This, objectors note, dwarfs the equivalent capital needed to begin trading traditional commodities, which is 2.5 billion rupiah ($178,000).

The addition appeared last week, authored by the Commodity Futures Trading Regulatory Agency, also known as Bappebti.

According to Oscar Darmawan, CEO of local cryptocurrency exchange Indodax, the sums involved are even more than the cost of opening a rural bank. The regulations, he told Reuters, were effectively stifling industry growth, as no futures had launched since the tool was legalized.

Indonesia has shown a highly conservative approach to cryptocurrency in recent times. In June 2018, the country’s finance regulator greenlighted crypto trading as a commodity on Indonesia’s stock exchange.

A full block on Bitcoin use for payments from Indonesia’s central bank came in December 2017, weeks before the cryptocurrency hit its most recent all-time USD high of around $20,000.

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