The impending general elections in Indonesia hold significant implications for the country’s dynamic crypto sector, especially given the current government’s keen interest in the industry. The outcome of the February elections could either advance or pose challenges to the crypto landscape, particularly if there is a change in leadership.
President Joko Widodo’s administration has been globally ambitious in promoting crypto initiatives within Indonesia, even establishing the world’s first digital asset exchange. However, the upcoming leaders may not share the same enthusiasm for the sector.
While not all leading candidates have been outspoken about crypto, insights from their comments provide clues about potential directions for the industry under their leadership. Presidential and vice-presidential candidates Anies Baswedan and Muhaimin Iskandar, representing the opposition, have been relatively reserved on crypto matters. However, their plans for policy overhauls could have repercussions for the crypto sector.
In 2022, Muhaimin advocated for taxing crypto transactions to boost state revenues and called for stricter regulation, proposing supervision by the Financial Services Authority (OJK) over the sector by 2025. The industry hopes that this changeover may result in reduced tax burdens, addressing concerns that high taxes have been discouraging traders.
Another candidate pair, consisting of presidential hopeful Ganjar Pranowo and running mate Mahfud MD, has not extensively discussed crypto during the campaign. However, Ganjar, the former governor of Central Java, expressed admiration for non-fungible tokens (NFTs) in 2022 and acknowledged the importance of tax compliance for the nation’s welfare.
The candidate most vocal about crypto is Gibran Rakabuming Raka, running alongside Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto. As the son of President Widodo, Raka strongly supports digitization, particularly in the realms of blockchain and crypto. His commitment to preparing experts in these fields for the betterment of Indonesia’s tech sector has been a notable aspect of his stance. Prabowo, in turn, emphasized plans to enhance supervision of tax compliance among stock and crypto traders to combat tax evasion.
Prabowo and Raka appear to be the candidates most likely to continue existing policies and exhibit favorable attitudes toward crypto in Indonesia, potentially embracing more crypto-friendly regulatory changes. The general elections in Indonesia are scheduled to commence on February 14.