The world’s fourth most populous nation today launched its first formal blockchain association, Asosiasi Blockchain Indonesia (ABI), at a press conference in the capital, boosting hopes that the Southeast Asian country may yet embrace blockchain technology.
Formed by six blockhain-related organizations with operations throughout the archipelago, the association aims to facilitate the adoption of blockchain technology in Indonesia by accelerating understanding, utilization, advancement and technological inventiveness in relation to the fourth industrial revolution.
Advocating structured blockchain regulation
During the press conference, it said that its early focus will be to work together with government and non-government institutions to assess, formulate and advocate policies for regulatory systems that would support blockchain development.
ABI supervisory board member Yos Ginting explained that despite its huge potential in Indonesia, blockchain companies operating in Indonesia currently faced challenges with the lack of a formal regulatory system relevant to modern financial technology: “This organisation was formed in order to become a platform for industry players so that they can serve as partners for the regulator and government in figuring out the most beneficial regulation.”
Its founding members are Blocktech Indonesia, Blockchain Zoo, INDODAX (formerly bitcoin.co.id, the largest exchanger in the country), Indonesian Blockchain Network, exchanger Luno, and Point-of-Sale (PoS) network PundiX.
Spreading awareness about blockchain benefits
ABI interim chairperson, also INDODAX CEO, Oscar Darmawan, acknowledged that blockchain technology and cryptocurrency had an unclear status in Indonesia, with much of its society still having misconceptions about the two.
Despite Bitcoin getting negative press in the country in late 2017 when central bankers warned about its threat to the national currency, issuing bans on Bitcoin transactions, Darmawan said that more government agencies are looking into blockchain solutions to implement in business operations.
“The association aims to list industry players who are implementing the technology in Indonesia, so that we can build it into data that we can offer to the government,” he said.
Earlier in January, Bank Indonesia was reported by national daily Kompas to have been working on issuing a blockchain-based digital payments system to improve efficiency, while national postal service Pos Indonesia launched a current account service app built on blockchain, Digiro.in.
ABI is a member of the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce (KADIN Indonesia).