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  • L Misthos and M Bacina

Bali Blocks Visitor Crypto Contributions to Economy

Updated: May 3

The provincial government of Bali, Indonesia, intends to enforce stricter measures against foreign tourists who use cryptocurrencies for payments in hotels, restaurants, tourist attractions, shopping centres, and other establishments.

During a press conference on tourism development held last weekend, Bali Governor Wayan Koster said that foreign tourists that use cryptocurrencies for payments will face "resolute action". The meeting was attended by Bali Police Chief Inspector General Putu Jayan Danu Putra.

Mr Koster stated that these strict actions may include deportation, administrative penalties, criminal consequences, closure of business premises, and other severe sanctions. He further reiterated the prohibition on using currencies other than the Indonesian rupiah for transactions within the country.

Under Indonesian law, individuals found using currencies other than the rupiah may be subjected to imprisonment for a maximum of one year and a fine of up to 200 million rupiah (US$13,300).

Mr Koster said that those engaging in foreign exchange activities without permission from Bank Indonesia could also face imprisonment for a minimum of one year and a maximum of five years, along with a minimum fine of 50 million rupiah (US$3,348) and a maximum fine of 22 billion rupiah (US$1.473m).

While cryptocurrencies are permitted to be held as assets in Indonesia, the head of Bank Indonesia's Bali Representative Office, Trisno Nugroho, clarified that their use as a payment instrument is prohibited in the country.

Bali is a favourite destination for Australians, and has hosted a number of crypto and blockchain conferences, including the upcoming Indonesia Bitcoin Conference in October which will feature Jack Dorsey, but not, it seems, any actual payments in Bitcoin.


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