Bali Warns Tourists Against Using Crypto as a Form of Payment

Those using crypto to pay for accommodation, restaurants, activities or shopping will be dealt with “firmly,” Bali’s governor reportedly said

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Crypto enthusiasts seeking sun and sand in one of Indonesia’s most popular tourist destinations have been warned against using digital assets as a form of payment.

Those using crypto to pay for accommodation, restaurants, activities or shopping will face stiff consequences, local media reported, quoting Bali’s governor Wayan Koster.

“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,” he reportedly said.

Failing to comply will result in individuals being deported, sanctioned, criminally penalized and may also result in the closure of certain businesses, the governor added.

The use of foreign currencies for payment is also prohibited in Indonesia, as the only valid tender is the Indonesian rupiah.

According to separate media reports, crypto’s use as payment for certain goods and services has been on the rise in Seminyak, a major tourist hotspot to the south.

Koster has taken a tougher stance towards foreigners. Earlier this month, the governor proposed a “quota system” to control entry to the island due to concerns about tourist behavior.

The resort island has been attempting to walk a fine line by allowing tourists back to its shores in the post-COVID era, while managing the sudden influx of new visitors. 

Indonesia shut its borders to outsiders back in March 2020 and remained closed for nearly two years before opening up again slowly, beginning in February of last year. 

From 2020 to 2022, foreign tourism in Indonesia fell over 75% from pre-pandemic figures, severely impacting many tourism businesses. 

In some cases, businesses, with support from Jakarta — the country’s capital, are leveraging digital assets, specifically NFTs, to boost investment and draw foreign interest.

In 2018, Indonesia acknowledged crypto as commodities, sanctioning their trading via centralized exchanges and allowing individual investors to legally hold the asset class.

Yet, according to 2019 and 2020 regulatory provisions, only 229 such assets are allowed for trade by entities that hold a license and comply with Bappetbi — Indonesia’s regulatory body for futures trading.

Crypto as a form of payment, meanwhile, is strictly prohibited.


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