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How Indonesia is unique when it comes to crypto and DeFi

Published on March 13, 2023

 Indonesia landed among the top 20 fastest-growing crypto markets worldwide in 2022, driven primarily by speculative trading. In fact, Indonesia’s trade ministry reported about 14 million crypto traders but only 9 million stock traders last year.

However, it’s worth noting that the crypto landscape varies significantly across the ASEAN region. The 2022 Global Crypto Adoption Index indicates that crypto markets are expanding rapidly in countries like Vietnam and the Philippines. Interestingly, the study also revealed that crypto users continue to operate in China, despite the government’s ban on cryptocurrencies in the country.

In Vietnam and Indonesia, owning crypto as an investment is allowed, but it cannot be used as a means of payment. That said, the two regulatory environments differ in other ways. In contrast, in the Philippines, cryptocurrencies are a legal and cost-effective way of sending money to and from the country, particularly for those without bank accounts.

In a recent episode of Indonesia Digital Deconstructed, Leighton Cosseboom of AC Ventures drilled down into the specifics of the crypto scene in Indonesia with two experts on the subject: Jesse Choi, COO of Reku, and U-Zyn Chua, Co-founder and CTO of Cake DeFi.

Reku is a leading Indonesian crypto exchange for investing in, buying, and selling various crypto assets. Singapore-based Cake DeFi is a fast-growing platform for access to decentralized financial (DeFI) with ease of use as its core value proposition. Cake DeFi simplicity for users when it comes to lending, staking, and liquidity mining for the crypto community, although not trading. Here are a few excerpts from the podcast.


How Indonesia is unique when it comes to crypto and DeFi

The transcript below has been condensed and edited for focus and clarity.

Jesse: I think Indonesia is quite unique. The penetration of crypto and Indonesia is high, especially among the younger millennials and gen Z users. Having said that, the amounts per user are not huge, but that’s okay because you need to start from somewhere to get a toehold.

I would also say that Indonesian investors are quite optimistic at the end of the day. There’s a great interest in buying into the different projects that are going on, and to chip in some of their own money for investing in crypto for their financial future.

Of course, the global volatility of the market has impacted all countries, but Indonesia tends to be a little more resilient in terms of maintaining the frequency of trading, and accepting crypto as an investment class, especially among some of the more loyal traders who have been around longer.

U-Zyn: We do see very strong growth on our platform in Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, and the Philippines. We’ve seen more growth after the FTX scandal than before it.

But I think a lot of the reason for the growth is that people are valuing the transparency of our platform even more.

There was a lot of hype in the air before, and a lot of talk about prices. But now, enthusiasts are more interested in learning about and understanding the fundamentals of crypto. There’s also a lot of talk about this revolution that is blockchain, and what that’s all about. 

Get the full episode for free on Spotify, Apple, and Google

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