Bitcoin and the Scaling Debate behind It


Over the past year, the idea of “bitcoin” has been constantly discussed and debated among experts and government officials worldwide. In Indonesia, the Central Bank of Indonesia (BI) has banned the use of bitcoin or any other virtual currency as payment instrument due to its contradiction to the regulation. Meanwhile, Indonesian Commodities and Futures Trading Regulatory Authority (Bappebti) said they have not decided whether to allow the bitcoin trading or not due to ongoing review about it.

Bitcoin and the Scaling Debate Behind It

Bitcoin is one of virtual currencies (cryptocurrency) used for a transaction between two parties, which technology called blockchain has allowed a transparent, secure, anonymous, and tamper-proof transaction. Aside from its competitiveness, bitcoin as a potential global currency has a virtual value and it could only be real if it is exchanged with legal currency, such as Rupiah. Therefore, the ban to trade bitcoin will eliminate its value and role as currency and investment instrument.

An economist from University of Indonesia and Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, J. Soedradjad Djiwandono, said on Kompas newspaper (30/01) that bitcoin could be a solution for the financial security challenge, however its meaning and implication should be defined by the authorities first before coming with a decision. Other economist from Institute for Development Economics and Finance (Indef) Bhima Yudistira Adhinegara said both BI and Bappebti must have mutual understanding about bitcoin.

If we look in global scale, many authorities do not fully accept bitcoin in their respective country with decisions varied from banning, diminishing to limiting the bitcoin trade. The Chinese authority is banning the bitcoin mining, Korean government forces the use of identity in every bitcoin transaction, and Indian government eradicates bitcoin by limiting the tradable fund. Meanwhile, Malaysian, French and Japanese authorities are pretty determined with banning bitcoin and even tried to demolish its network.

Following the negative reactions, Djiwandono added that the Indonesian government should implement a clear regulation regarding the digital money trading because bitcoin as a piece of encrypted data in the computer will worth nothing if it could not be exchanged with Rupiah.

The existence of bitcoin has divided most people, some are still apprehensive, while others are starting to embrace it. You can learn further about bitcoin and blockchain and be part in this hot discussion by attending CTI IT Infrastructure Summit 2018 held with “Blockchain: The Next Digital Disruption in Every Industry” topic in Jakarta on 7 March 2018.

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