Indonesia’s biggest cryptocurrency exchange is soon going to overtake country’s biggest stock exchange by number of participants. And more interestingly, the cryptocurrency exchange has achieved this feat in a lifespan of 4 years while the stock exchange is older than a hundred years.
The exchange in discussion is Indonesia Digital Asset Exchange (INDODAX), whose Chief Executive Officer Oscar Darmawan recently told Bloomberg that the platform is quickly moving towards the milestone of 1.5 million KYC verified users by the end of this year. As of now there’re 1.14 million registered users on the platform with more than 3,000 new users signing up everyday. The exchange started its operations in 2014 as Bitcoin.co.id, post which it was rebranded as Indonesia Digital Asset Exchange.
By contrast, Indonesia Stock Exchange, which is a 106-years old national stock exchange in the country, has 1.18 million registered users who trade in stocks, futures, ETFs and Options of listed companies. However, the combined market cap of those financial instruments traded on the stock exchange is worth $520 billion – significantly more than the market cap of whole world’s cryptocurrency market ($355 billion).
According to Mr. Darmawan, INDODAX currently facilitates transactions worth a total of 100 billion rupiah ($7.3 million) everyday. This figure, he said, is also expected to double by the end of year when platform will have 1.5 million users. He said:
“We are seeing almost 3,000 new members signing up everyday. Most people are trading in bitcoins though transactions in ethereum has increased significantly of late.”
Cryptocurrencies Attracting Retail Investors Despite Central Bank’s Hostility
The success of INDODAX shows that despite a negative climate generated by Bank Indonesia (the central bank of country) the interest of cryptocurrencies is steadily increasing among retail investors. Indonesia harbors hostile environment towards cryptocurrency traders and investors. Country’s central bank governor had previously threatened legal action against those who use cryptocurrencies as means of exchange in the country. The bank also declared cryptocurrencies illegal as means of payment in Indonesia, and post that a crackdown was launched on establishments accepting cryptocurrencies in Bali. A warning was also issued by Bank Indonesia in January urging all parties to refrain from selling, buying or trading cryptocurrencies.
However, it’s also worth noting that despite declaring cryptocurrencies illegal as means of payment and despite all the warnings the Central Bank of Indonesia has also not gone to the extremes of banning cryptocurrency trading in the country. The net result is that despite all the warnings and raids the appetite for cryptocurrencies seems to be growing from a steady pace in the country.