The Southeast Asia crypto scene is growing, especially in Indonesia.
According to data from Triple A, Indonesia has the seventh-largest crypto user base, with a total of 7.4 million Indonesians owning cryptocurrency, which means approximately 9 out of 10 internet users own a digital wallet – an increase of 85% from 2020 to 2021.
So why is crypto becoming so big on the archipelago? What does this mean for consumers, and what do crypto providers need to know in order to reach their target audiences?
We sat down with our team in Jakarta to find out more.
Understanding Who’s Using Crypto in Indonesia
As crypto surges in Indonesia, its followers fall into a few separate camps:
The most die-hard fans of crypto are middle-income people, with good educational backgrounds, who are very serious traders. “But it’s still a side-gig for them. It’s between their 9-5 job, as a mental exercise, or for fun. For these guys, when their crypto crashes, they’re able to laugh it off, because they haven’t invested everything they have,” says Agung Wicaksono, Senior PR Executive.
Other crypto users in Indonesia are older, people who are experienced in investment and want to try something new to make a profit in a fast way. “These guys are risk-takers and profit chasers. They are serious investors of crypto, who see it as a genuine way to make substantial amounts of cash.”
And our final group is Crypto Fun-Seekers; young people who are in their early twenties, often students, who are actively taking part in crypto conversations online and engaging with equally young crypto influencers. “This group sees crypto as a fun game too. It’s an exciting, easy way to make some extra money, and trading becomes like esports gameplay. There’s also the community aspect of crypto for this group, being a crypto trader is part of their identity,” adds Hallira Haddad, Vero Indonesia’s Senior PR Executive.
To reach these three groups, crypto providers can turn to social media. Used as both a news channel and entertainment channel, social media platforms are easily accessed by everyone. But to effectively speak to these different audiences’ messages and packaging need to be targeted.
To reach Die-Hard Opportunists and Expert Investors, we suggest creating in-depth content exploring fundamental aspects of crypto as well as supplying technical analysis. Both segments are well educated in crypto and crypto trading, so they’ll be looking for information that they don’t already know.
High-quality guidance that helps them to make better deals is their primary concern. They’ve been doing this for a while and are confident when it comes to crypto trends and language. Flattering their knowledge and sophisticated understanding will encourage them to pay attention to your content and build trust.
Crypto Fun-Seekers, on the other hand, need easy to digest information that is packaged attractively. For this group, crypto trading is a fun addition to their lives! So, content should capitalize on this aspect.
A large part of their decision to trade is community influenced. They will tend to stick with tried and tested currencies or investments, listening to advice that comes from established individuals in their respective crypto communities.
Un-engaged anti-risk takers
This segment is an older generation who tends to steer away from cryptocurrency, preferring to stick with ‘real’ investment, and seeing crypto as an unstable option. To attract this demographic, crypto providers can think about working with prominent public figures, like certified financial advisors, or investment influencers. This will increase credibility, encouraging them to try something new. Positioning crypto as an investment like any other will help this audience to understand crypto better and feel more comfortable with the risks involved.
“It’s really important for crypto-providers to work closely with the Indonesian Government/financial regulator, and prominent media publications to build trust amongst skeptical audiences,” says Diah.
With so much market noise out there, investors in crypto look for credible sources to help them make decisions.
Why are Consumers Investing in Crypto Currency?
One of the big reasons that cryptocurrency is growing in Indonesia is the ease of access for users. All you need to start buying and trading is a smartphone, an internet connection, and approximately 75 cents.
For some, this is a lucrative chance to turn a profit: “People are attracted to the idea that they can make money easily. Crypto trading platforms and apps are popping up everywhere, but unfortunately, many people are unaware of the risks involved in crypto trading,” says Diah Andrini Dewi, Account Director for Vero, Indonesia.
“It’s not just ease of access that has contributed to Indonesia’s boom in crypto. Influencers and religious figures have been heavily promoting the ease of trading on social media platforms. In a year when many of Southeast Asia’s economies have struggled because of the pandemic, crypto is being marketed as an easy way to supplement income,” adds Agung.
With stock markets subject to inflation as well as general economic unrest, cryptocurrency can seem like a good alternative for those who have lost trust in traditional investment or government support.
But like any investment, there are, of course, risks involved.
Helping People Use Crypto Better
Recently an Indonesian man became an overnight millionaire after selling thousands of his selfies online as NFT’s. Sultan Gustaf Al Ghozali earned his newfound fortune after taking a selfie a day for five years.
“After Ghozali’s success, many people wanted to jump on the bandwagon. They started uploading all sorts of photos online to sell as NFT’s. Selfies, photos of furniture, ID cards – which wasn’t safe,” says Diah.
“We can see a pattern emerging around crypto in Indonesia – people are quick to take on new trends, but aren’t necessarily learning all that they need to, to be successful, which leaves them vulnerable to scams.”
Early this year, the Government introduced a new law banning financial firms from helping crypto sales, alongside the warning: “Please beware of allegations of fraudulent Ponzi scheme using crypto investments modes.”
Scams are a growing issue when trading crypto and brands should look to help educate users where they can.
Crypto influencers and creative opportunities
According to our team, the growth of crypto in Indonesia is intrinsically linked to social media consumption. “Artists and businesspeople, like Elon Musk, are endorsing crypto, which gives us a very wide-ranging audience,” says Agung.
Crypto communities are erupting across Indonesian social media platforms. Cryptoiz, an educational platform for crypto users, has over 10k members in their Telegram group, 21k followers on Instagram, and 50k on Twitter. This increase in crypto communities also means an increase in crypto-influencers and opportunities for brands. “Influencers from the gaming community naturally gravitate towards crypto brands, but we’re also seeing influencers from lifestyle backgrounds endorsing crypto tokens or platforms. And vice versa, crypto influencers are starting to promote tech brands, lifestyle brands, and/or beauty products. There’s a lot of crossover,” says Hallira.
“It’s great that so many influencers are getting on board with crypto, but we want to urge them to act responsibly, and to help consumers understand the risks, not just the potential reward,” adds Diah.
As interest in crypto trading increases, some influencers are creating oversimplified or misleading content that leads investors to have unrealistic ideas about profit margins.
Giving clear, detailed context about crypto products or services will help to create more trust between investors and providers. This will also help to minimize negative impact, therefore leading to longer-lasting relationships.
In addition to this, crypto providers should make sure that they are following all the rules and regulations of the country where their business is run, implement excellent consumer data protection and be transparent about their services.
For crypto providers balancing enthusiastic marketing with easy-to-understand, well-informed, clear information is key to building trust with potential audiences.
Thanks, Vero team for these excellent insights. It’s been great to learn more about the potential of crypto in Indonesia.