Years back, Indonesia was firm on banning online gambling. However, with Bitcoin gaining grounds in the peninsula, will the country’s betting enthusiasts find their new found love in Bitcoin games?
Bitcoin Indonesia’s efforts to adopt Bitcoin marked another milestone by making the digital currency available for purchase in more than 10,000 Indomaret convenience stores across the country.
Similar to the concept used in Argentina, Oscar Darmawan, founder of Bitcoin Indonesia, however, said this project serves as a tool that enables millions of unbanked locals to take advantage of Bitcoin and its benefits more than to merely serve as a promotion of the cryptocoin.
Unlike the system used in Argentina, Bitcoin users in Indonesia looking to buy the digital currency at any Indomaret store must first acquire a code provided by Bitcoin.co.id. Choosing the ‘Top-up via Indomaret’ option is a required step before going to the store and paying for their purchased bitcoins in cash.
This requires users to first have a registered account with the said Bitcoin exchange and to have a working Internet connection, which, according to Darmawan, is an aspect that is currently being addressed.
A new product that will make Bitcoin purchases via Indomaret without the need for online services is already in the works, he added.
Now that Bitcoin has become more widely available to Indonesians, the question of whether the instances of users engaging in Bitcoin gambling will increase becomes an interesting topic.
In 2012, it was reported that Indonesian ministries were collaborating to completely ban all activities related to online gambling within the country.
However, Bitcoin is not regarded as currencies or legal tender by Bank Indonesia, the country’s central bank, as of February of this year. Therefore, this should provide local bettors with legal reasons to place wagers on Bitcoin casinos and sports betting platforms.
Meanwhile, Bitcoin Indonesia is optimistic about its Bitislands project as more establishments are beginning to adopt the digital currency to achieve its goal of making the popular tourist destination, Bali, a Bitcoin island.