Indonesian Central Bank Continues Campaign Against Cryptocurrencies, Bans Bitcoin as Method of Payment

The Indonesian Central Bank has resumed its campaign against digital currencies as it ordered a ban on the use of the leading virtual currency Bitcoin as a method of payment. The bank claimed that Bitcoin represents neither a legal nor a recognized medium of exchange and payment in Indonesia.

The latest action by the central bank was seen as the reason behind the closure of the Indonesia-based Bitcoin payment platforms BitBayar and TokoBitcoin. BitBayar, an alternative to services such as BitPay, has issued a notice that it will stop its services on Nov. 1.

Also, TokoBitcoin has opted to stop accepting the leading cryptocurrency as a method of payment.

Although there are no reports that the central bank has officially requested the closures, the pronouncement by central bank governor, Agus Martowardojo, against Bitcoin and its users is a clear warning to them.

In a statement, Martowardojo said that the top-dog cryptocurrency was not a legit means of payment and that if it utilized as such, action would be taken by the authorities.

Indonesia’s previous campaign against digital currencies

In February 2014, a report by Reuters claimed that the Indonesian government has opted to prohibit the use of virtual currencies in the country. The central bank also issued a warning against their use as legal payment tools.

Part of the central bank statement at the time read:

“Bitcoin and other virtual currencies are neither currency nor legal payment tools in Indonesia. People are advised to be careful about Bitcoin and other virtual currencies.”

The government, however, has reconsidered its position on digital currencies and virtually turned a blind eye to their use by individual users, Bitcoin exchanges and business services involving the virtual currencies.