Bali May Sanction Tourists Who Use Crypto for Payments

By Gabriel Budi Sutrisno

The Balinese administration has threatened to impose strict sanctions on foreign tourists, as well as businesspeople, who use crypto for payments.

The decision comes after an investigation by local publication Kompas found that tourists in Bali had been using digital assets to pay for various services such as meals, meditation practices, and motorbike rentals.

In Indonesia, crypto assets are officially recognized as tradeable commodities on futures exchanges. However, their use as a means of payment remains prohibited.

Bali Governor Wayan Koster said these violations could lead to deportation for foreigners. Entrepreneurs, including both Indonesian and foreign nationals, will face administrative sanctions, criminal penalties, and even business closures for using crypto as a payment method.

Strict sanctions will also be imposed on tourists who “behave inappropriately and carry out activities that are not allowed in their visa permit,” Koster told local media in a press conference on Sunday.

The governor added that strict sanctions against people using crypto as a means of payment are stipulated in Indonesian laws and Bank Indonesia regulations. One of them is a 2023 law stating that individuals conducting foreign exchanges without a permit will be subject to imprisonment for one to five years and a fine of 50 million rupiah (US$3,300) to 22 billion rupiah (US$1.5 million).

The crypto market is under the supervision of the Commodity Futures Trading Regulatory Agency (Bappebti). Last year, the Financial Services Authority started prohibiting Indonesian trading firms under its supervision from issuing crypto assets.

Bappebti said that the number of crypto investors in Indonesia reached nearly 17 million as of February.

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