Bitcoin, the leading global cryptocurrency, has been unceremoniously shown the door by the Indonesian Central Bank when the bank banned the use of the currency as a recognized payment method. The bank views Bitcoin and similar cryptocurrencies as illegal and will not recognize them as a legal means of exchange and payment within Indonesia.
This action by the bank has resulted in the Indonesian Bitcoin payment platforms TokoBitcoin and BitBayar shutting their doors. BitBayar has issued a formal notice indicating that they will be closed for business from the 1st November 2017.
There are no reports that the closures were due to a directive from the bank but the statement issued by the Governor of the Central Bank, Agus Martowardojo, made it clear that their business would be considered illegal by the Central Bank. This statement made it clear that they considered the use of cryptocurrencies as illegal and if they were used the authorities would take legal action.
This action follows previous campaigns made by the Indonesian authorities against cryptocurrencies. As far back as February 2014, the news came that the Indonesian government had decided to prohibit the use of virtual currencies and the central bank issued strongly worded statements warning against using them as a means of payment. Since then the Indonesian government appeared to have turned a blind eye to the use of cryptocurrencies and largely left it up to the user to decide if they wished to use them or not.
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