And there was the ORI. It was printed in Yogyakarta, but enjoyed wide circulation. It took some years for it to become an official currency (this happened on October 30, 1946). But it was made of a simple fine fibre, and was qualitatively poor when compared to the currencies circulating at the time and issued by the Javasche Bank, like the Dutch Indies Gulden. It would be not until 1999, when a 100,000 Rupiah note was issued that was made of Guardian polymer substrate, printed both by the Bank of Thailand and Note Printing Australia (NPA), of much greater durability, and affording greater counterfeit protections. One feature afforded by the polymer was the Optically Variable Device (OVD), creating iridescence and a Level 1 security pattern when viewed from each side.
In 1993 there were apparently at least five million polymer 50,000 Rp notes printed by NPA, before the paper issue hit the market, coinciding with the national elections, but there are many conflicting accounts of this polymer issue. There have been suggestions that some of the recorded serial numbers have not been sighted (the “ZZ-” prefix including “ZZZ” notes), and NPA, for reasons best known to itself, discourages the use of this note (if it should ever suddenly emerge). Aside from the presence of President Suharto on the note, it showed an airborne Garuda Boeing 747, signifying continued growth and prosperity. In a symbolical sense this served as a celebration of the Orde Baru, or New Order, of a centralist form of government which, while raising prosperity of some, kept many others out in the cold, following a neoliberal agenda.
More than two years before Indonesia formally adopted the Rupiah as its national currency - and decades before Otonomi Daerah, or Regional Autonomy came in - the governor of Sumatra province issued a Rupiah currency (URIPS) on April 8, 1947, setting the precedent that not all purposive development in the financial system invariably originates from the Central Bank. The Riau Islands and West Irian had variations on the Rupiah, but their use was abolished in 1964 and 1974 respectively.
The directional change can be said to have started with the era of digital money, which was a natural extension to the digitizing of knowledge and all phenomena, to the increasing virtualization of the world. Crypto assets have a fundamental technological feature that separates them from previous asset classes: their utility increases in proportion to the affordable increase of computing power; Moore’s Law Redux. This makes them particularly and natively more suitable for all forms of digital payment and settlement platforms, for e-commerce and software development. If business architectures remain cognizant of the need to decentralize — and many of them will not, as power is always about centralisation — cryptocurrencies will indeed become all-pervasive. Part of this digitization is mandated by the increasing speed with which financial transactions occur. Shares and other commodities can now be traded by a third of the speed of light — and globally — making underlying economic processes and repercussions almost impossible to understand and meaningfully to respond to, especially in ever shorter periods of time. The largest hedge funds use the speed edge of five milliseconds afforded by the London-New York transatlantic cable to make hundreds of millions of dollars extra profit annually. They are allowed to do so without legal impediments of any kind, or any outcry that that might constitute unfair business practice. The power of digitally equipped enterprises will again dramatically accelerate once it is coupled with A.I. and machine learning. Most governments are blind-sided by the ruthless use to which technology is put by the likes of George Soros, who does not care about putting entire economies at risk. But it is not rogue traders like Soros alone, but the combined power particularly of centralized U.S. tech companies, often backed by deep State and U.S. industry, that pose an increasing risk to individual countries’ economies and to the stability of their currencies. A private body, never having in its entire history paid a cent in taxes, the U.S. Fed, can bankrupt entire countries. A current case in point in early 2019 is Venezuela. By imposing illegal sanctions on account of a perceived “threat to its national security”, former President Obama imposed deleterious sanctions on Venezuela back on March 9, 2015 (it’s a replay of the many sanctions regimes use to interfere with the national sovereignty of nations). And now in early 2019 everyone is blaming the lawfully elected Venezuelan Government for ruining the economy, while the U.S. and its minions back a usurper who is undoubtedly friendly to U.S. oil interests. While a retired President Obama does his kite-surfing on Richard Branson’s hideaway island beaches, millions of Venezuelans can’t feed their families. Branson, of course, pouring oil into the fire, promised a “Venezuelan Aid Live”, supporting the usurper to power. What frequently remains of economies that have fallen foul of the variable U.S. hegemonic agenda is the transformation of their currencies into Charon’s obol, which is an allusive term for the bribe extracted by Charon or the ferryman of dead souls. What in former times could only be achieved by outright warfare can today be accomplished by no less destructive, but ostensibly more peaceful means.
The Asian economic crisis of 1998 caused a devaluation of the Rupiah by 35%, eroding the entire prosperity of the middle classes - like shoving someone down the stairs - making the poor still poorer, and putting most of the achievements of the 25-year Development Period onto a funeral pyre, and leading to the fall of the Suharto Government in due course.
Given the propensity of empires to exploit and destroy other economies, a national currency based on cryptographic principles and decentralized, or a raft of such amenable currencies, is no longer an option but a strategy in survival and prosperity.
It might be apocryphal, but it is said that Gus Dur, former President of Indonesia, had a vision on his death-bed that Indonesia would one day have its own currency. Whatever people might think of Gus Dur politically, he was an authentic man who embodied the principles of Pancasila: as a former leader of Nahdlatul Ulama, he was a highly esteemed and ecumenical Islamic cleric who was convinced that Indonesia needed its own currency. If all but those who follow a divisive neoliberal agenda understand viscerally that their personal prosperity is inevitably linked to the well-being of all, real change becomes possible. It is Gus Dur’s wish that Indonesia at last enable a broad-based prosperity that is in line with its incredible natural resources and the great communitarian spirit of its people!
The Indonesian Rupiah, the "mata uang", or "the eye of the currency", needs to emerge from the chrysalis of the Sanskrit rupiya and discover its own epistemology to allow its inclusive and compassionate spirit to give light to the world.
Bangun Infrastruktur Digital, Ini Tujuan Jokowi
Dr. Walter Tonetto, vice-Chairman The Global Blockchain Application Research Foundation
The newly elected President of Indonesia, Joko Widodo is strongly supportive of the evolution of digital paradigms in Indonesia. He is here seen in a recent picture with IndoCoin co-founder Mr Henri Napitupulu.
The co-founder of IndoCoin™ The co-founder of IndoCoin™ seen here with the newly elected prime minister of Malaysia, Dr. Mahathir bin Mohamad