Bali Governor Slams Foreign Tourists Using Crypto Payment

An official publication by Bali’s governor Wayan Koster on May 28 revealed that the region will restrict crypto payments in the tourism sector. In a recent update issued by the Bali regulatory agency, they observed that tourists use crypto assets to make purchases.

Initially, Governor Koster had issued a notice reminding the Indonesian to use the local currency, considered a legal tender in payment. In an interview with a local newsroom, Antara Governor Koster stated that tourists using crypto payment would face potential action.

Bali Restrict Crypto Payment

He emphasized that the regulators will deal with non-compliant tourists firmly. The Bali governor reiterated that the noncompliant tourist would face strict enforcement action such as deportation, sanctioning, and penalties.

Koster elaborated that violating the Bali regulation will expose the tourist to business closure and imprisonment.  Afterward, Governor Koster hosted a press conference with the chief inspector of Police, Trisno Nugroho, and representatives from the central bank of Indonesia.

In support of Koster’s remarks, Nugroho reviewed the current regulations in Bali, which allow the public to engage in crypto trading. Based on the Bali regulation, Nugroho noted that the region had prohibited the use of crypto payment. In his statement, Nugroho observed that the Indonesian currency, “Rupiah,” was the only legalized payment method.

He mentioned that the use of crypto payment could lead to one-year imprisonment. At times the use of crypto payment might expose an individual to a court fine amounting to 200 million rupiahs, equivalent to $13000.

Strategies to Minimize Crypto Payment in Bali

He added that individuals engaging in unlawful foreign exchange would be placed behind bars for either two or five years. Alternatively, the non-compliant firms must settle for a court fine of 50 million rupiahs.

In an earlier report issued by the Bank of Indonesia, all local foreign exchanges must seek permission from the country’s apex bank before proceeding with further business. Governor Koster’s announcement came when the Kompas reporters shared a similar report.

According to Kompas newspaper, it was reported that a significant number of Bali businesses are accepting crypto payments. The Kompas briefing revealed that most of the meditation retreat centers, cafes, and automotive retail shops in Bali allowed customers to make crypto payments.

A recent study by Coinmap revealed that approximately 36 businesses in Bali have adopted crypto payment. Most of the crypto-friendly firms were located at the popular tourist center Ubud.

Despite the hefty penalties imposed for crypto pay, the Indonesian authority has invested heavily in developing the Indonesian authority’s plans to launch a public crypto exchange in June.

A statement issued by the Ministry of Trade revealed that the proposed crypto exchange would provide custodial services to the locals. The new platform will also act as a “clearing house” for cryptos.

In 2022 the trading platform was launched but failed to overcome technical issues. After suffering repetitive technical challenges, the developers opted to work on fixing the bug and improving functionality before the official launching.

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