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Indonesian bitcoin investors set to outnumber stock participants

Indonesia Digital Asset Exchange, formerly known as Bitcoin.co.id, will have 1.5 million members buying and selling digital currencies such as bitcoin, ethereum and ripple by the end of the year, according to chief executive officer Oscar Darmawan. The platform, which began its operations in 2014, currently has 1.14 million investors, he said.

In contrast, Indonesia Stock Exchange, which offers stocks, futures and options and exchange-traded funds, has only 1.18 million registered participants, according to data from the Indonesia Central Securities Depository. Companies traded on the exchange have a combined market capitalisation of US$520 billion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

“We are seeing almost 3,000 new members signing up everyday,” Darmawan said. “Most people are trading in bitcoins though transactions in ethereum has increased significantly of late.”

While Bank Indonesia hasn’t banned exchanges from offering cryptocurrencies, it has asked investors to refrain from owning, selling or trading the tokens. The central bank doesn’t deem digital currencies as legal tender.

Indonesia Digital Asset Exchange is targeting daily volume to double from an average 100 billion rupiah ($7.3 million) a day currently, Darmawan said. The stock exchange in comparison recorded average daily transactions worth the equivalent of $550 million in 2017, according to data from the bourse.

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