Despite Bank Indonesia (BI) prohibiting the use of digital currencies like Bitcoin as a payment instrument, the central bank is considering issuing a cryptocurrency or digital rupiah.
Assistant to BI executive director for payment systems Susiato Dewi said the digital rupiah would be trialled this year in an effort to help make the payment system more efficient.
“The physical banknotes we currently use may be converted into digital money. However, no country has released such money yet,” said Susi in Jakarta over the weekend as reported by kompas.com.Read also: Indonesia studying Bitcoin’s use in investment: Official
Susi added that central banks in other countries had also begun digital currency trials to anticipate the possible use of cryptocurrencies for inter-country transactions.
She assured that the digital currencies issued by BI and other central banks were different from current cryptocurrencies because the digital money would be based on the certain values of assets.
She added that the calculation of the circulated digital money would also be based on the current currency system, and would take into account the inflation rate.
Previously, BI Governor Agus Wartowardojo said that using Bitcoin as a payment and transaction instrument violated Law No. 7/2011 on currency, which designates the rupiah as the only official transaction and payment instrument in the country.
However, the Trade Ministry's Futures Exchange Supervisory Board (Bappebti) said it was studying the use of Bitcoin as an investment instrument. (bbn)