Bali Sends Warning: Opt for Conventional Payments, Not Cryptocurrency

  • Local tourism authority issues a strong warning, advising against the use of cryptocurrency payments to address challenges and enhance the visitor experience.

Bali, one of Indonesia’s most sought-after tourist destinations, has issued a stern warning to foreign visitors regarding the use of cryptocurrency as a means of payment. The Bali Tourism Authority has made it clear that tourists who engage in such practices will face severe consequences.

During a press conference on tourism development, Bali Governor Wayan Koster emphasized that those who pay with cryptocurrency or violate other regulations may be subject to deportation, criminal penalties, or stringent sanctions. Governor Koster stated, “Foreign tourists who behave inappropriately, engage in activities not permitted by their visa, use cryptocurrency for payments, or violate other provisions will be dealt with firmly.”

Indonesian law mandates that all transactions within the country must be conducted using the local currency, the rupiah. Those found using alternative forms of currency can face imprisonment for up to one year and fines of up to 200 million rupiah ($13,300). The primary purpose of these regulations is to safeguard the rupiah against the prevalence of the U.S. dollar in the country

However, despite the strict regulations, Bali has emerged as a hub for crypto enthusiasts, often referred to as “Silicon Bali.” The island has seen increased interest from cryptocurrency communities, with initiatives such as the physical clubhouse established by Indonesian exchange Tokocrypto catering to Bali’s crypto enthusiasts.

While Bali continues to attract tourists from around the world, the local authorities are adamant about upholding the existing regulations. The Bali Tourism Authority’s warning against cryptocurrency payments serves as a reminder to visitors to adhere to the country’s legal and financial frameworks.

As the allure of Bali and its growing crypto scene persists, tourists are advised to familiarize themselves with the local laws and regulations to ensure a smooth and enjoyable visit to the island paradise.

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Crypto Scene in Indonesia and Tourism Challenges

Cryptocurrency operates within a specific framework in Indonesia, where it is recognized as an asset but not approved for use as a means of payment. The country imposes restrictions on individuals involved in foreign exchange activities, requiring them to obtain permission from Bank Indonesia.

Governor Koster, during the conference, reiterated the regulations and emphasized that violations would result in administrative sanctions such as written reprimands, fines, and restrictions on payment transactions.

This recent announcement is part of a series of measures aimed at addressing problematic behavior among tourists on the island. Bali, heavily reliant on tourism, faced significant challenges due to the impact of Covid-19 travel restrictions. While the return of international visitors has provided some relief, it has also brought its own set of concerns.

Earlier this year, Governor Koster proposed a ban on tourists using motorbikes, following a rise in traffic violations and accidents. There has been growing frustration over tourists disrespecting local customs, such as posing naked in sacred sites or working as digital nomads without the necessary visas.

As Bali strives to maintain its reputation as a welcoming and culturally respectful destination, these measures aim to ensure a harmonious coexistence between tourists and the local community. The authorities are working diligently to strike a balance between supporting tourism recovery and preserving the island’s cultural integrity.

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