Bali tightens regulations to restrict cryptocurrency as payment for foreign tourists

The popular tourist destination of Bali in Indonesia is going to make it more difficult for foreign tourists to use cryptocurrency for payments, as they plan to tighten their rules around payments.

Bali Governor Wayan Koster announced during a press conference on Sunday that the stricter payment rules are part of a larger crackdown on inappropriate behavior by tourists on the island.

According to a report by Channel News Asia, the Governor stated, “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 conference, which was attended by Bali Police Chief Inspector General Putu Jayan Danu Putra and other officials, discussed various measures that will be enforced.

Governor Koster reminded everyone 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 taken 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.

Trisno Nugroho, the representative of Bank Indonesia’s Bali office, reiterated that while cryptocurrency is legal in Indonesia, its use as a payment instrument is banned.

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.

The crackdown is necessary to ensure compliance with local regulations and protect the stability of the country’s financial system, according to the officials.

The Governor’s statement sparked a discussion on Twitter, with some users pointing out that even China cannot ban cryptocurrency, so it is unlikely that any country can do so.

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