Bali Tightens Regulations: Stricter Measures Implemented to Restrict Foreign Tourists from Using Cryptocurrency as Payment
The popular Indonesian tourist island Bali will tighten rules around payments to make it harder for foreign tourists to pay with crypto.
Speaking at a press conference on Sunday, Bali Governor Wayan Koster indicated that the tighter rules on payments are part of a wider crackdown on what he called inappropriate behavior by tourists on the island.
“Foreign tourists who behave inappropriately, do activities that are not allowed in their visa permit, use crypto as a means of payment and violate other provisions will be dealt with firmly,” the Governor said, according to a report from Channel News Asia.
The press meeting, which was also attended by Bali Police Chief Inspector General Putu Jayan Danu Putra and other officials, discussed various enforcement measures to be taken.
Governor Koster reminded everyone that that the use of currencies other than the Indonesian rupiah as a form of payment is strictly prohibited in the country.
Actions that will be implemented to stop the perceived problem includes deportation, administrative penalties, criminal charges, closure of businesses, and other severe sanctions, the Governor said.
It was also noted that violators could face imprisonment of up to one year and a maximum fine of 200 million Indonesian rupiah (US$13,300) under Indonesian law.
Bank Indonesia's Bali Representative Office, Trisno Nugroho, reiterated that while cryptocurrency is legal in itself in Indonesia, its use as a payment instrument is banned.
Engaging in foreign exchange business activities without permission from the central bank can lead to imprisonment ranging from one year to five years, along with fines ranging from 50 million rupiah to 22 billion rupiah.
According to the officials, the crackdown is necessary to ensure compliance with local regulations and protect the stability of the country's financial system.
The statement by Bali's Governor also became a topic of conversation on Twitter, where it was pointed out by some that if even China can't ban crypto, then no country is likely to be able to do it.