Feb 14, 2010
Oscar Darmawan sits alone at Luciole Bistro at Central Park in West Jakarta. When I enter, he stands and shakes my hand warmly and talks a little about his past. He’s soft-spoken and young-looking. His appearance reminds me of the shy kid in science class who has all the answers in his head and will share them if only you ask nicely. As we start our conversation, he politely orders spaghetti carbonara, and tries to get a sense of how much I know. He then pulls out a laptop and shows me how to buy a brick of heroin online. A few mouse clicks later, we’re browsing for illegal arms on the dark web.

He doesn’t look like a dangerous man, but he is the smartest guy in the room. Darmawan is the CEO of Bitcoin Indonesia, an exchange where folks can buy and sell the controversial cryptocurrency known as bitcoin, a form of digital money that’s more secure than any bank in the world, all but impervious to regulation, flawless and complete in its ledger, 100 percent public, and virtually untraceable for those who use it. Darmawan graduated with an IT degree from Monash University in 2006, then went to help carry out cyber security projects for private companies, militaries, and government organizations in Indonesia and Singapore. He’s not allowed to share the details.

If you don’t know what bitcoin is, don’t worry. Chances are you’re a normal person who’s just never considered alternatives to money as we know it. Inherently, bitcoin is neither a malicious nor a benevolent thing. It’s just another currency. Just like any other form of money, bitcoin’s value and strength against other currencies fluctuates by the minute. At the moment, one bitcoin is valued at US$256, as per data from CoinDesk’s real-time charts. The real miracle, however, isn’t that the nerds have come out with a new form of currency, it’s that enough people in the world have decided bitcoin possesses intrinsic value. It’s exactly this consensus which makes it real today; a self-fulfilling prophecy.


Well-Known Member
Sep 3, 2007
Karangasem, Bali
I think the only people that believe in the bitcoin idea are those that haven't got a fecking clue what it is and those that know exactly.

Anyone with an ounce of understanding in digital processes will know that he/she doesn't know enough to trust it and that's the huge middle-field.

That leaves the suckers and the ones running the show.


Well-Known Member
Mar 13, 2012
No matter how often or hard I try I cannot convince my local pub owner here to let me buy Bintang with Bitcoins...but he's an old fashioned stubborn guy from Brighton, UK.

He said...I buy the s*** in Rupiah notes and I sell it in Rupiah notes....take your coins to that Ozzie pub down the street.... :highly_amused:

Steve Rossell

Apr 18, 2015
I'm one of the huge middle ground that has a deep seated distrust of the internets security given that the internet was designed and created as an open share system which means that any security measures implemented since are merely patches, sophisticated as they may be. In my joyful ignorance I see Bitcoin as a terrific concept however, by passing the multi-corporate industrial banking system may seem an attractive way to 'stick it to the man', it also by-passes the tax system. Now we all know that the tax system in so called developed nations is constantly rorted by businesses large and small (TPP anyone?) but the everyday, work-a-day tax payer actually contributes to the common well being and maintenance of the comfortable lives of their developed home nation. Warts and all.
Like I said, I like the concept of Bitcoin but I could not ever subscribe to it, if for no other reason that it is open to the possibility of being ripped-off or that my accounts that depend on the 'Cloud' wouldn't suffer the consequences of a massive lightening strike let alone folks who are way smarter than me figuring out ways to clean out my paltry sums of Bitcoin.
By the way I have seen an increase both here and in Oz that have advertising for businesses declaring their acceptance of Bitcoin.
I'm no expert and I don't know banking but I know what I don't like. F#$ comes the meteor.