Bank Indonesia issued a press release on Jan. 13, warning its citizens against the use of selling, buying or trading cryptocurrency and reiterating that virtual currency is not legitimate within Indonesia.
This statement comes after the September reassertion that Bank Indonesia will not accept Bitcoin (BTC) as payment, leading to the voluntary closure of two Indonesian-based crypto exchanges, BitBayar and TokoBitcoin. Bank Indonesia cites concerns over potential use in money laundering and funding terrorism as reasons behind their anti-cryptocurrency campaign:
“Virtual currencies are vulnerable to bubble risks and susceptible to be used for money laundering and terrorism financing, therefore can potentially impact financial system stability and cause financial harm to society.”
While there is no official ban on Bitcoin within the country, per Wikipedia, the press release forbidding all activity relating to cryptocurrency takes a harsher tone than previous statements that merely advised citizens to be careful around Bitcoin.
Algeria’s government has also taken steps towards a crypto ban, with reports that the 2018 Finance Bill will make Bitcoin ownership and trading illegal within the country. In early January, Egypt’s top Religious Official, Grand Mufti Shawki Allam, declared Bitcoin unlawful according to Sharia law citing concerns about money laundering and terrorism funding as well.