Bali government cracks down on crypto payments

The government in Bali has been tightening the law on the use of cryptocurrency as payments, with tourists facing consequences if the regulations are violated.

As reported by Antara, a state-owned media site in Bali, the governor of the island nation Wayan Koster noted that tourists will not be allowed to pay using cryptocurrency. He 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.” 

Violations, according to the governor, can result in deportation, sanctions, criminal penalties, and even jail time. Those businesses accepting cryptocurrency will face penalties too, including closure of premises.

Cryptocurrency in Bali

Despite the crack down on the use of cryptocurrency, trading digital currencies in the province is allowed. The Indonesian currency, the rupiah, is the only currency that is considered legal tender for making payments. The use of any other currency, not deemed legal tender, carries a potential of up to five years in prison a 200 million rupiah fine (around $13,000).

At the same time, the Indonesian government is currently working towards rolling out a national cryptocurrency exchange. The country expects to have the exchange operating sometime before the end of June. For this, the Ministry of Trade would operate as the custodian for the local cryptocurrency markets. It remains to be seen whether this would allow payments to be made in the country or simply act as a gateway for trading crypto.

Currently, there is also a community project that is mapping out crypto-friendly businesses in Bali. Most of them are located in the tourist-centric area of Ubud.

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