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Kosovo Police Confiscates Hundreds of Cryptocurrency Mining Machines

As a result of several police actions, the Kosovo authorities seized more than 300 cryptocurrency mining devices. According to the nation’s Minister of Energy and Economy, the seizure will save “tens of thousands of Euros per month.”

Kosovo’s Ban Intensifies

Similar to many other countries in Europe, Kosovo currently struggles with an energy crisis prompted by the sharp price increase of electricity. Attempting to curb consummation during the winter and eliminate power shortages, the government recently introduced a blanket ban on cryptocurrency mining.

Just a few days after the rule became live, local law enforcement agencies executed the first seizure. According to a recent announcement, Kosovo Police and Kosovo Customs conducted a joint operation, after which they confiscated 272 “Antminer” Bitcoin mining machines in the municipality of Leposavic.

During a separate action near the capital Prishtina, the authorities seized further 39 cryptocurrency mining devices, 35 of which were functioning at the time.

Meanwhile, the police also stopped a vehicle carrying banned equipment near the village of Druar. The driver allegedly hid six crypto mining machines and 42 graphics cards (GPUs) in the back of his car.


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Artane Rizvanolli – Kosovo’s Economy and Energy Minister – highlighted the police actions. Per her calculations, the confiscations will save “tens of thousands of Euros per month of taxpayers’ money,” which equals energy intended for hundreds of Kosovar families during the crisis.

Iran Enforced The Same Rules

Another country that introduced a temporary ban on cryptocurrency mining is Iran. Similar to Kosovo, the officials explained their decision with the rising electricity consumption during the coldest months of the year.

Interestingly, the Iranian government enforced the same legislation during the summer, too. Between June and September last year, when temperatures usually hover around 30-35°C (95°F), crypto mining was forbidden as the officials were strictly monitoring whether miners abide by the rules.

During an operation at the beginning of the summer, the police confiscated 7,000 bitcoin mining rigs hidden in an abandoned factory in the capital Tehran. The seizure was the largest ever carried out by the local authorities. Prior to that, back in January 2021, the government seized nearly 1,500 cryptocurrency mining devices.

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Alibaba Vice-Chairman and Billionaire Joe Tsai Likes Crypto

The Chinese government has gone out of its way on the crypto crackdown. Despite this, the industry has evolved tremendously and continues to capture the imagination of many. Joe Tsai, who happens to be the executive vice-chairman of the Chinese e-commerce behemoth, Alibaba Group, is the latest to share his feelings on Twitter in three simple words, saying – “I like crypto.”

Tsai is Bullish on Crypto

Joe Tsai’s latest comment on crypto has created a frenzy in the micro-blogging space. For the uninitiated, Tsai is a Taiwanese billionaire who also owns the Brooklyn Nets of the National Basketball Association (NBA).

Interestingly, Brooklyn Nets’ sharpshooter Kevin Durant happens to be a Coinbase investor. The NBA star and his company Thirty-Five Ventures recently entered into a strategic partnership with the cryptocurrency exchange.

Besides, this isn’t the first time Tsai had spoken in favor of crypto. In an interview with Sportico’s Brendan Coffey back in August, the exec talked about media convergence, sports betting, and crypto. His words were,

“Media, sports betting, crypto-we see all those things converging a little bit,” Tsai explained. “You can’t talk about sports betting these days without thinking how that affects your media rights. And maybe, for the betting fan base, injecting a little bit of crypto will be interesting.”

Alibaba’s Tryst With Crypto

Despite Tsai’s latest comments on crypto, Alibaba has stayed away from the industry. In September this year, the e-commerce giant announced that it will stop selling specialized mining equipment in response to the People’s Bank of China’s stringent policy.


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The company revealed that it will halt the operations of two categories – Blockchain Miner Accessories and Blockchain Miners. It also went on to ban all cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ether, Quarkcoin, and Litecoin across all of its platforms.

2021 can be marked as a year when the Chinese war on Bitcoin (BTC) and the wider cryptocurrency got severe. The crackdown on crypto mining and trading started in May and soon intensified. This was a debilitating blow to the ecosystem in the country. Once a thriving mining scene, the new tightened policy almost eradicated institutional mining of cryptocurrencies.

Hence, it isn’t surprising that Alibaba’s tryst with crypto may have ended, for now at least. But, the metaverse is a whole different dimension, and the tech giants of the country, including Alibaba, are keen on exploring the opportunities. In fact, several companies have rushed for trademark applications related to the metaverse.

Featured Image Courtesy of BusinessInsider

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IMF Chief Economist Says Not To Ban Crypto

Gita Gopinath – Chief Economist for the International Monetary Fund – recently said that developing economies should refrain from banning crypto. Instead, she called global regulation of the industry “the need of the hour”.

The Global Challenge of Crypto

Gopinath outlined the regulatory difficulties around crypto at an event by the National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER) on Wednesday. She said that global policy on crypto is an urgent need to address the challenges the technology poses to emerging markets.

Moreover, she said banning them was simply impractical, given the global presence that exchanges possess.

“Regulating crypto assets and currencies is essential, especially for emerging and developing economies, as banning them may not work as crypto exchanges are located offshore, which makes it easier for an individual to trade in them despite the ban,” she said.

This September, China announced a ban on all crypto exchanges from the country, after which exchanges such as Bitmart and Biki fled the country. Meanwhile, India is still deliberating over an equivalent ban.

Gopinath placed emphasis on making a ‘global’ policy around crypto, as cross-border transactions make any single nation’s regulations against it quite weak. They can be used to evade “exchange rate controls, capital controls, and capital flow measures,” she said.


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Michael Saylor – CEO of MIcroStrategy, the world’s largest owner of Bitcoin – has highlighted this exact property as extremely helpful from a business perspective. Unlike real estate, Bitcoin can be transferred across borders at “the speed of light” to the most tax-friendly jurisdictions.

Christine Lagarde – President of the European Central Bank – has also pushed for global cryptocurrency regulation, to combat its decentralized “money laundering” capabilities.

Regulation Over Banning

Besides India and China, most other jurisdictions have ruled out banning cryptocurrencies, instead taking a regulatory approach. In fact, many US officials see China’s ban as an excellent opportunity to welcome the industry, capitalizing on its innovation. These include Ted Cruz, Hester Peirce, and Pat Toomey, among others.

Singapore has also chosen not to ban. MAS director Ravi Menon believes crypto could “lead to a very good outcome for the economy and society,” and would rather craft a regulatory framework for it to operate within.

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India Might Not Regulate Cryptocurrencies in The Winter Season as Planned (Report)

The second-most populated country is reportedly considering postponing the implementation of cryptocurrency regulations. Before putting bitcoin and the alternative coins under its scope, the Indian authorities will first seek comments from the public, a senior government official opined.

It Might Not Be This Winter

At the end of November, the government of India revealed plans to impose strict rules on the local digital asset space. The legislation called “The Cryptocurrency and Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill, 2021” aimed to ban the employment of private cryptocurrencies.

On the other hand, the authorities wanted to create a better ecosystem for the state-controlled central bank digital currency and spread it in its financial network. The initial plan was to enforce these rules during the winter session of Parliament.

According to a recent report by The Economic Times, the proposed legislation will not become a reality now. A senior government official, whose name was not mentioned, said the Indian ruling body should get familiar with the reaction of the broad population first and then step into action. He also added that the country needs to follow the global trends before enforcing such strict rules:

“After several rounds of discussions at the highest levels, it felt that any legislation surrounding cryptocurrency must be in tandem with a global framework which is still evolving. It might be a better strategy to wait and observe how this space evolves globally.

Also, it felt that the government could consider existing laws and regulations to ensure consumer protection and taxing cryptocurrency transactions in the meantime.”

The official also revealed that policymakers are looking into whether the legislation should include the upcoming CBDC. Since it is the digital version of the national currency, it might operate under the RBI (Reserve Bank of India) Act.


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Strict Regulations Are More Likely Than a Total Ban

A few weeks back, Avinash Shekhar – Chief Executive Officer of the cryptocurrency exchange Zebpay – predicted that the Indian lawmakers will not impose a China-style ban on digital assets. They would instead enforce tough rules, which he sees as necessary:

“The message which we are getting from the government is that they’re looking for some kind of regulation, strict regulation, but not a complete ban.”

In his view, the move could attract many innovators and giant institutions, which might not jump on the cryptocurrency bandwagon without the existence of a comprehensive regulatory framework.

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Charlie Munger Wished Cryptocurrencies Were Never Invented, Anyone Surprised? (Opinion)

The digital asset industry has marked an impressive year so far as many cryptocurrencies painted all-time high prices. Numerous experts and public figures showed their support, highlighting the merits of the asset class, while global institutions started diversifying their portfolios with bitcoin or some alternative coins.

Yet, Charlie Munger – Warren Buffett’s right-hand man – reiterated his skepticism once again recently by indicating that the hype around them is “crazier than the dot-com bubble two decades ago.” Furthermore, he vowed never to invest in the crypto market.

Why Is Munger Wrong about Crypto?

In a recent interview for the Sydney Herald, the 97-year-old Charlie Munger once again revealed he has no plans to enter the cryptocurrency market. To him, the craze generated around bitcoin, ether, and the rest is much similar to the Internet bubble between 1995-2000. Back then, investors rushed to pump money into Internet-based startups, hoping that these fledgling companies would soon turn a profit:

“I think the dot-com boom was crazier in terms of valuations than even what we have now. But overall, I consider this era even crazier than the dot-com era.”

CharlieMunger
Charlie Munger. Source: Yahoo

The firms involved in the Internet bubble were indeed a target of mass attention, and many people invested more than they could afford at the time.

However, some organizations such as Amazon and eBay managed to overcome the subsequent bubble burst and now stand as giants in their field with millions of clients worldwide and a stable structure. Interestingly, SkyBridge Capital’s Anthony Scaramucci recently compared bitcoin to Amazon, predicting a similar success story for the primary cryptocurrency.


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It’s also worth noting that the company Munger spearheads alongside Buffett famously missed on investing early in both Amazon and Google – some of the biggest corporations in the world and, famously, part of the dot-com bubble times.

Munger – the Vice-Chairman of Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway – went even further in his latest bashing fest, wishing the asset class “had never been invented.”

Cryptocurrencies, though, are seen by many as financial instruments against rising inflation, such as the one which the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent mass printing of fiat currencies caused. Currently, the inflation rate in the US stands at around 6%, which means that investors holding to their dollars will lose some of their buying capacity in the near future.

On the other hand, bitcoin has a predetermined number of coins ever to exist of 21 million. Thus, many legacy investors allocated funds to it to fight the growing inflation. Paul Tudor Jones and Stan Druckenmiller are just a few examples.

The Chinese Crypto Ban Made BTC Stonger

Another topic that the American billionaire investor scratched during his appearance was the total crypto ban that China imposed earlier this year. Unsurprisingly, Munger supported this move, while he regretted that the USA still allows local investors to deal with bitcoin and the altcoins.

“I think the Chinese made the correct decision, which is to simply ban them. My country – English-speaking civilization – has made the wrong decision.”

Shortly after the People’s Bank of China announced the restrictions, bitcoin’s price plunged significantly. However, it was a relatively short-term correction. In the following months, the leading cryptocurrency reached an all-time high of almost $70,000, meaning that the negative Chinese stance had a relatively small impact on BTC on a more macro scale. Many experts even opined this policy has worked in favor of the asset.

Katie Huan – a Partner at a16 – said the US should see China’s crackdown as an opportunity. In her view, American financial regulators must do the exact opposite to what the most-populated country did to enhance the nation’s economy.

Edward Snowden – the popular whistleblower – also joined the list of people believing the Chinese ban on BTC will actually benefit the cryptocurrency.

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India Might Prefer Stricty Regulations Instead of Outright Banning Crypto: Zebpay’s CEO

Avinash Shekhar – Chief Executive Officer of the cryptocurrency exchange Zebpay – predicted that the Indian lawmakers are more likely to impose tough rules on the digital assets than prohibit their usage.

The exec added that regulation in the sector is necessary as it could bring many innovators and multibillion-dollar companies.

The Vibes Do Not Indicate for a Total Ban

The cryptocurrency environment in India is controversial, to say the least. The authorities of the largest economy in South Asia have been changing their stance on the matter numerous times over the past few years. At some point, they even wanted to criminalize the usage of bitcoin and other digital currencies.

Earlier this week, the government once again showed its intentions to crack down on the asset class. Similar to China, India’s proposed bill aimed to ban the usage of private tokens in favor of its own state-controlled CBDC:

“The Bill also seeks to prohibit all private cryptocurrencies in India, however, it allows for certain exceptions to promote the underlying technology of cryptocurrency and its uses.”

According to Zebpay’s boss – Avinash Shekhar – this step is exaggerated. In a recent interview for CNBC, he said he sees “lots of positive vibes from the government,” leading to the conclusion that an outright ban is not on the agenda:


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“The message which we are getting from the government is that they’re looking for some kind of regulation, strict regulation, but not a complete ban.”

Imposing a comprehensive regulatory framework in the industry could be beneficial for the country, Shekhar added. He explained that the move would attract many innovators and giant institutions, which are not ready to delve into the cryptocurrency space without rules in it:

“With regulation coming in, I think that will be a major area where I think multibillion-dollar companies will be created.”

Avinash Shekhar
Avinash Shekhar, Source: Twitter

Without Regulation, Crypto Could Land in The Wrong Hands

Narendra Modi – the Prime Minister of India – also highlighted the importance of implementing regulatory policies around the digital asset industry. He suggested that many criminals will continue using bitcoin and the altcoins in case global regulators fail to incorporate a legislative framework.

According to Modi, the process should include nations with democratic visions such as India, Australia, and others in the Indo-Pacific region and beyond. They need to establish a mutual collaboration and act together.

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Crackdown in India Continues With Crypto Ban Planned for the Winter

India is looking to ban most crypto assets when it introduces a new bill to regulate the industry this coming winter.

The agenda for the session lists “The Cryptocurrency and Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill, 2021.” The bill also addresses the framework for the official central bank digital currency that will be issued by the Reserve Bank of India.

India is now following in the footsteps of China in attempting to eradicate the use of decentralized crypto assets in favor of its own state-controlled CBDC.

“The Bill also seeks to prohibit all private cryptocurrencies in India, however, it allows for certain exceptions to promote the underlying technology of cryptocurrency and its uses.”

It is the second time the bill related to cryptocurrencies has been listed for introduction in parliament, but it was not introduced earlier this year.

Community Backlash

India has a population of roughly 1.4 billion, and a large portion of them are unbanked. Consequently, crypto has become quite popular in the country in recent years, but the state clearly doesn’t approve of them.


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According to Reuters, there are around 15 to 20 million crypto investors in India, with total crypto holdings of around 400 billion rupees, or around $5.4 billion, so it is clearly a huge market.

As expected, there has been a lot of backlash to the move from crypto users and politicians alike. Member of parliament Priyanka Chaturvedi called it a “recipe for disaster,” adding that it is robbing India of creating an ecosystem for new-age fintech.

Founder and CEO of India’s leading crypto exchange WazirX, Nischal Shetty, looked on the brighter side stating “there will be speculation on both sides,” before adding “the good thing is more people within Government are aware of how crypto works.”

Crypto Criticism From The Top

The office of the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, tweeted this rather obscure crypto critique on Nov. 18.

“Take crypto-currency or Bitcoin for example. It is important that all democratic nations work together on this and ensure it does not end up in wrong hands, which can spoil our youth.”

Meanwhile, Reserve Bank of India governor Shaktikanta Das has continued to express his worries stating, “when the central bank says that we have serious concerns from the point of view of macroeconomic and financial stability, there are far deeper issues involved,” at a recent event.

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Following FLOKI Ad Campaigns: London Wants to Ban Crypto Ads on Public Transport

The British authorities have reportedly urged Transport for London (TfL) to stop allowing cryptocurrency ads on its infrastructure. The move comes after Floki Inu – a meme coin named after Elon Musk’s puppy – was advertised on the city’s underground stations, buses, and trains for the last couple of weeks.

Crypto Ads Are ‘Unethical’

“Missed Doge? Get Floki” – this was the slogan that appeared on some of London’s underground stations at the end of last month. Promising to spend $1.5 million on marketing the token, the team behind the memecoin Floki Inu raised hopes to increase the overall engagement of the broader British society.

Despite the asset’s recent price appreciation, many consider it a speculative digital currency lacking proper regulation. Moreover, advertising it openly around one of the largest cities in Europe could result in losses for people who are not aware of the potential risks in the digital asset industry, and more specifically, dealing with meme coins.

As such, London’s transport authority – TfL – has decided to crack down on those ads, according to recent reports. Chris Reader – Head of commercial media at the local government body – assured that cryptocurrency brands who wish to advertise their product will now have to pass a thorough investigation before their token gets displayed around the city:

“We ensure that campaigns contain sufficient information to comply with both our policy and the ASA [Advertising Standards Authority] ruling.”

TfL’s policy added that nothing sensitive or dubious could be advertised on its platforms, hinting about the controversial nature of meme coins like Floki Inu.


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Sian Berry – the Green Party London Assembly member – also spoke on the matter, opining that cryptocurrency ads are “unethical.” She said digital assets in the United Kingdom are unregulated, and individuals “may lose all their money” if they enter the market.

The Rise of Floki

Meme coins are, by all means, a controversial side of the digital asset industry. Their value against the dollar can surge by double or even triple digits overnight, mainly because a famous individual creates hype around them. At the same time, investing in them can lead to serious losses to investors who are not prepared for their unexpected swings.

When speaking about meme coins, one can not surpass Dogecoin. Created as a joke in 2013, the token surged in popularity this year. Interestingly, the mind-blowing demand was fueled by celebrities such as Snoop Dogg and, of course, Elon Musk.

Shortly after Dogecoin’s success, many other copycats started flooding the cryptocurrency space. One of them (Floki Inu) was particularly interesting just because it had something in common with Elon Musk’s dog.

And, like before, when a digital asset has any connection whatsoever with Tesla’s CEO, it skyrockets to an all-time high. Floki Inu’s price currently stands at $0.000225, as it has slightly retreated from its last registered ATH on November 5th.

No More Luno Ads as Well

This is not the first time an advert for digital assets has popped up in England’s capital. Earlier this year, as CryptoPotato reported, the cryptocurrency application Luno grabbed the attention of the British regulators by displaying the following statement around the public transport network: “If you are seeing Bitcoin on the Underground, it’s time to buy.”

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) was quick to react and banned the ads. The watchdog warned that such marketing endorsements could lure inexperienced investors in without realizing the potential risks:

“We concluded that the ad irresponsibly suggested that engaging in Bitcoin investment through Luno was straightforward and easy, particularly given that the audience is addressed, the general public, were likely to be inexperienced in their understanding of cryptocurrencies.”

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China’s Communist Party Reportedly Expells Top Official for Supporting Crypto Mining Companies

The government of China removed Xiao Yi – an official representing the Jiangxi province – from his post after he violated the country’s digital asset policies. According to the prosecution, he illegally supported some cryptocurrency mining businesses.

China Sends a Strong Signal that Crypto Mining Is Forbidden

A recent report by the South China Morning Post informed that Xiao Yi – a former vice-chairman of the Jiangxi Provincial Committee – is no longer part of the Communist Party ruling body due to his connection with digital mining operations. 

The statement revealed that he is the eighth provincial-level official to be placed under investigation this year amid President Xi Jinping’s intensifying anti-corruption campaign. Among them all, Xiao Yi is the highest-ranked politician to be punished for supporting operations involving cryptocurrencies.

“[Xiao] violated the new development concept and abused his power to introduce and support enterprises to engage in virtual currency ‘mining’ activities that do not meet the requirements of national industrial policy,” the Chinese government stated.

In addition, the investigation found Xiao Yi guilty of other crimes such as accepting bribes and attending parties that may have compromised the fulfillment of his duties. The prosecution concluded that he traded power for money and sex and provided privileges to people close to him after they granted him a large amount of property.

Earlier this year, the Chinese government imposed a crackdown on all operations involving cryptocurrencies, with mining being one of them. Prior to that, the most-populated nation was the global mining leader, but the first position now belongs to the USA, while Kazakhstan is second. 


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Bitmain Stopped Shipping Mining Rigs to China

The Chinese crackdown on everything crypto reached Bitmain as well. The Beijing-based company, known as one of the world’s largest manufacturers of bitcoin mining machines – revealed last month it would no longer deliver its Antminer crypto mining rigs to mainland China addresses.

Still, the new policy did not affect clients in overseas markets as the company stated it “is working hard to ensure the supply of customers around the world.” To comply with the demand for mining equipment from across the globe, Bitmain also increased its production capacity for modular mining containers – Antbox. 

The firm’s decision to withdraw from the Chinese market seems logical since the local authorities carried out a major operation in Inner Mongolia in September. After which, they seized 10,100 mining rigs. This was the 45th such confiscation in that province, while Sichuan, Yunnan, Xinjiang, and Qinghai have also been targeted before.

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Muslims Cannot Trade Bitcoin in Indonesia as Religious Council Declares Crypto is Haram (Report)

The National Ulema Council (MUI) has reportedly announced a ban on the use of crypto, citing Shariya law. Even as the Indonesian government has acknowledged crypto as a commodity, it still cannot be legalized under Islamic law.

According to the reports, the head of religious decrees, Asrorun Niam Soleh, stated that the rejection ignites from the thesis that cryptocurrencies are riddled with “uncertainty, wagering, and harm.” However, the Chairman of the MUI’s Fatwa Commission clarified that digital assets can be traded as a commodity if it obeys the Shariah law and shows a “clear benefit.”

The latest announcement comes just a few weeks after the MUI’s East Java branch issued a fatwa against crypto usage. The Islamic group had cited volatility as the primary issue.

A Threat to Bitcoin?

Bitcoin has managed to resume an uptrend to $65k after minor pullback. Altcoins, too, remained strong. While “fatwas” (formal rulings on the point of Islamic Sharia law given by a qualified legal scholar) may trigger a sense of uncertainty in the broader market, a case of massive sell-off may not transpire any time soon.

For one, the market has demonstrated tremendous potential of late and has remained afloat in the wake of many FUDs. Additionally, MUI’s decision is not legally binding even as it continues to enjoy the position of a government-funded organization and happens to be Indonesia’s top Islamic scholarly entity.


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Having said that, it is also important to understand that the country has one of the largest Muslim populations in the world, with approximately 237 million, meaning over 12% of the world’s total. Hence, the development may have a considerable impact on the Indonesian crypto ecosystem, which hosts well over 4.4 million investors.

Indonesian Crypto Climate

Amid the raging COVID 19 pandemic, Indonesian leaders were earlier planning to levy tax on capital profits from cryptocurrency trading to induce revenue. The Commodity Futures Trade Regulatory Agency of the country was also considering tax imposition on all crypto transactions on domestic exchanges.

All in all, Indonesia’s stance on crypto has not been very hostile. Despite instances such as a blanket ban in 2017, the central bank deeming Bitcoin and other crypto-assets as not legitimate payment instruments the very next year, trading was still permitted.

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