DEC 20, 2023
Crypto emerges as topic in Indonesian election campaign
As Indonesia gears up for its upcoming presidential election, the country’s crypto market has become a focal point for political discourse. Gibran Rakabuming Raka, a vice presidential candidate and the eldest son of President Joko Widodo, recently unveiled his plans to foster expertise in blockchain and crypto within the Southeast Asian nation.
Chosen as the running mate for presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto, the 36-year-old politician aims to elevate tech education in Indonesia, opening avenues for the younger generation, particularly in the realm of digital assets. According to a report by Indonesian online news portal detikNews, while speaking at a political gathering on Dec. 10, Gibran asserted:
“We are preparing blockchain experts, we are preparing cyber security experts, we are preparing crypto experts.”
Indonesia has emerged as being ahead of the curve in terms of crypto adoption, ranking seventh on Chainalysis’ 2023 global crypto adoption index. With an estimated 18 million crypto investors, the country boasts a robust industry association that also functions as a self-regulatory body.
Local news media reported in October that the Southeast Asian country has seen a 10.1% year-on-year increase in the number of crypto investors. At the time, Tirta Karma Senjaya, Head of the Commodity Futures Trading Regulatory Agency, said, "Growth in the number of crypto investors in Indonesia continues to increase, but investors are still looking for the right time to buy crypto.”
Private sector entities have also identified the raw potential. In the same month, Web3 consulting firm Tiger Research, in partnership with South Korean crypto data platform Xangle, produced a report which identified significant potential for the development of Indonesia’s Web3 market. There are over 30 crypto exchanges operating in the country, acting as the primary channel through which growth in crypto is propelled in Indonesia.
Capitalizing on crypto interest
The government, under President Widodo, has actively sought to capitalize on this crypto enthusiasm, going as far as establishing a local “stock market” dedicated to crypto assets.
Gibran’s proactive stance on crypto education aligns with his broader vision of positioning Indonesia at the forefront of the global digital revolution. The country’s rapidly growing tech landscape and crypto adoption make it an opportune space for fostering expertise in these cutting-edge technologies.
As the presidential election approaches, Gibran’s commitment to cultivating a pool of crypto experts underscores the potential influence of the crypto industry in shaping Indonesia’s economic future.
An international topic
Crypto is increasingly becoming an important topic in elections globally. In the United States, many of the presidential candidates, particularly within the Republican Party, have publicly expressed their interest in crypto and blockchain. Yesterday, Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse took to the X social media platform on the subject, stating:
”Team @Ripple is putting a stake in the ground, leading the charge with other industry leaders to support pro-innovation and pro-crypto candidates in the 2024 US election cycle. The US cannot afford to continue taking a back seat on the global stage.“
With Indonesia’s election frontrunners, Prabowo and Gibran, expressing interest in the sector, it remains to be seen how this focus on crypto will resonate in the upcoming political debate on Feb. 4.