Bali Bans Tourists from Using Crypto for Payment
- Crypto trading is allowed in Bali. However, authorities have banned the use of cryptocurrencies for payments.
- Tourism accounts for the bulk of Bali’s revenue.
- Some crypto users threatened to reconsider plans to visit Bali due to the ban on crypto payments.
Local authorities in Bali have warned foreign tourists against paying with cryptocurrency during their visit. Defaulters, according to authorities, will be “dealt with firmly.” Bali Governor Wayan Koster said that visitors who use cryptocurrency to make payments or infringe other rules risk being deported, prosecuted, or subject to other severe punishments.
While speaking at a tourism event, Governor Koster noted that “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.”
Bali is known to attract tourists from around the world because of its natural appeal and its rich culture. However, Indonesian law requires all transactions to be completed using the rupiah, the country’s currency. Individuals caught using alternative means of payment risk a one-year sentence and a monetary penalty of up to 200 million rupiahs ($13,300).
The laws were first put in place to protect the rupiah from the dollar’s broad use in Indonesia. However, cryptocurrency posed a threat to the use of the rupiah as tourists and locals flocked to it as an alternative.
The crypto community in Indonesia has shared mixed responses to the ban on crypto payments. Some believe the ban is understandable as a means to boost the adoption of the rupiah. However, others have threatened to reconsider their plans to visit Bali.
Tourism serves as one of Bali’s economic strengths. According to research, tourism accounts for over 28% of Bali’s revenue. The tourism industry boosts local businesses, and a decline in the number of tourists could affect Bali’s economy.