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Digital Rupiah: Bank Indonesia to trial national cryptocurrency

The Bank Indonesia (BI) is going to trial “digital rupiah” this year, an assistant to the central bank’s executive director said recently.

The BI is considering issuing the cryptocurrency which may be used as a payment instrument, The Jakarta Post reported quoting local media outlet kompas.com as the source.

Noting similar initiatives by other central banks, Susiato Dewi, assistant to BI executive director said:

“The physical banknotes we currently use may be converted into digital money. However, no country has released such money yet.”

She said that the cryptocurrency issued by the BI would be different from existing cryptocurrencies as it would be based on the certain values of assets. Furthermore, the calculation of the cryptocurrency in circulation would be based on the current currency system and would take into account the inflation rate.

Earlier this month, the BI issued a warning against buying, selling, or trading of digital currencies such as bitcoin. It said that “virtual currencies, including bitcoin, are not recognized as a legitimate instrument of payment, therefore not allowed to be used for payment in Indonesia.”

In the past couple of months, Venezuela has also been making efforts to launch “Petro” cryptocurrency under the leadership of President Nicolas Maduro. However, the country’s parliament recently declared the cryptocurrency as “illegal.”

More recently, a draft bill to create the foundation for a national cryptocurrency “Cryptoruble” was submitted to the Russian State Duma.

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