Indonesia is planning to launch a digital version of its national currency, central bank Governor Perry Warjiyo said on Tuesday.

Fast Facts:

  • Bank Indonesia is currently looking at potential platforms for the digital rupiah, and has made developing digital payment systems a policy priority amid strong growth in online transactions during the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • In April alone, digital banking platforms in the country saw transaction frequency leap 60.3% on an annualized basis to more than 570 million, with the value of transactions surging 46% to 3,114.1 trillion rupiah ($217.3 billion), according to a report by Reuters.
  • Warjiyo said Bank Indonesia would aim to regulate the planned central bank digital currency in the same way as it regulates transactions involving cash and cards, and that the rupiah remained the sole legally accepted means of payment in the country.
  • Indonesia banned the use of cryptocurrencies as a means of payment in 2017, and its tax authority said a fortnight ago that it was studying a plan to tax capital gains made through crypto trading.
  • Central banks collectively representing some 20% of the global population are likely to issue CBDCs in the next three years, according to a survey by the Bank for International Settlements, with the Chinese central bank’s planned CBDC currently being the most developed.