According to persons familiar with the subject, Binance Holdings Ltd. is in talks to launch a cryptocurrency trading exchange with Indonesia’s wealthiest family, the Hartonos, and a state-owned telecom operator.
The world’s largest crypto exchange has been in talks about a joint venture with PT Bank Central Asia, which is controlled by sibling billionaires Budi and Michael Hartono, and PT Telkom Indonesia, according to people familiar with the matter who asked not to be identified because the matter is private.
Binance, BCA, and Indonesia’s major telecom operator have formed a collaboration to promote cryptocurrency adoption in Indonesia, the world’s fourth most populous country, where many adults lack access to bank lending and other forms of institutional finance. Aside from the bank, the Hartonos own a significant tobacco company, a telecom services company, and e-commerce firms.
An agreement would offer Binance a stronger presence in the fast-growing industry while also allowing the country’s most influential businessmen to participate in digital currency.
According to one of the sources, BCA may develop a cooperation with Binance through a linked firm. The talks are still ongoing, and the parameters of the agreement may alter, according to the sources.
A spokeswoman for Binance declined to comment on the negotiations.
“We are committed to the long-term expansion of the blockchain sector globally, and we are always exploring new business prospects in every country,” added the spokesperson.
According to Ahmad Reza, the firm’s senior vice president of corporate communications and investor relations, Telkom Indonesia is looking into new opportunities to partner with top players through its venture capital arm MDI Ventures, particularly given the potential in the blockchain and crypto markets and the opportunity to leverage the group’s connectivity capabilities.
According to a BCA representative, such an investment was not discussed at a board meeting. According to the spokesman, the bank discusses collaboration with a variety of business partners and has created collaborations with a number of fintechs and e-commerce platforms.
Stakes in cryptocurrencies
As they expand their digital capabilities, Southeast Asian banks are increasingly considering investing in crypto enterprises. DBS Digital Exchange is run by DBS Group Holdings Ltd., the region’s largest lender. It offers services in security token offerings and cryptocurrency trading. Last month, Thailand’s oldest bank, Siam Commercial Bank, announced that it will buy a 51 percent ownership in Bitkub Online Co. for 17.85 billion baht ($530 million) in order to expand its digital asset business.
The Indonesian government has been a strong supporter of crypto assets, allowing them to be traded alongside commodities futures as an investment option and trying to establish a crypto-focused exchange by the end of the year. The usage of crypto assets as a form of currency is not permitted in the country, as the rupiah is the only legal tender.
Tokocrypto, one of Indonesia’s leading cryptocurrency exchanges, is already a Binance investor.
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