Bending the Moral Arc of Technological Adoption in Indonesia Towards Good

Author: Ibrahim Kholilul Rohman and Maria Monica Wihardja

Executive Summary

In Indonesia, digital technology and digitalization are seen as solutions to economic development challenges and future transformation towards more prosperous society. Digital technology is a double-edged sword as in most cases it entails both benefits and drawbacks. Due to data limitations, there are no easy means to evaluate the externalities – both positive and negative – caused by digital transformation. This essay proposes a new framework to analyse the impacts of digital economy by extending the G20 Toolkit framework for Measuring the Digital Economy to indicators that are in line with the Sustainable Development Goals. Applying this framework to the Indonesian context, using ex-post (actual) and ex-ante (projected) real-life examples, the government could consider limiting the retail access to cryptocurrencies, requiring customer suitability tests, and/or restricting the use of leverage and credit facilities for crypto trading. In the case of ride-sharing platform economy, the Indonesian government could consider monitoring service fees charged to online retailers by vertically integrated digital platforms and intervene if they are deemed to harm consumers and online retailers.

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