Bali’s exceptional culture and breathtaking landscapes make it one of the world’s most visited vacation destinations. Despite ensuring protection against fraud and unauthorized transactions, cryptocurrencies are currently prohibited for payment use by tourists in Bali, as revealed in an unexpected press release.
Legal Consequences and Strict Penalties for Violators
This decision was prompted by an investigative report published in Kompas which unveiled the acceptance of cryptocurrency payments by businesses in Bali.
The Governor of Bali, Wayne Koster, issued a firm caution to tourists planning to use cryptocurrency as a payment method. This was during a press conference held on May 28, emphasizing that significant measures would be taken in response to such actions.
Koster stated that using currencies other than Rupiah for payment in Indonesia is prohibited under Law 7 of 2011 on Currency.
Violators may face imprisonment of up to one year and a maximum fine of Rp200 million (US$13,300). The regulation of Rupiah as Indonesia’s official currency is also covered in Law No. 4 of 2023 on the Financial Sector.
Tourists who flout this order are liable to deportation, fines, legal consequences, business closure, and other strict penalties.
Indonesia’s Previous Crypto Stance
Despite Bali’s governor’s firm stance, the country previously showed its commitment to cryptocurrency. The COVID-19 pandemic saw Bali became a digital haven for remote workers and entrepreneurs seeking a vibrant community.
Earlier this year, Indonesia which is the country covering Bali introduced its national crypto exchange. Also, the country is preserving its cultural heritage with the help of blockchain technology and NFTs.
This recent move by the tourist haven is a little surprising, and we look forward to seeing how it all works out.
Tourism is the bedrock of Bali’s economy, with nearly 28% of the region’s income attributed to tourism. This new announcement about crypto payments will no doubt affect tourism in the city.
Bali has now joined Pakistan in banning cryptocurrencies as means of payment. Earlier this year, Belgian ex-finance minister, Johan Van Overtveldt, suggested a ban on cryptocurrency. His proposition was as a result of the negative effects of crypto-friendly banks that have ceased operations.
As we can understand from the crypto ban movements in different regions, the negative attitude towards the crypto space is developing. However, the amount of positive ideas is also high.