The Indonesian province of Bali has declared that tourists will not be allowed to pay with cryptocurrency, warning that violators will be “dealt with firmly.”
The government is looking to curb the influx of foreign tourists as a way to solve the problem of foreigners breaking local laws.
Offended by foreign tourists to face heavy penalties
Bali will take action against foreign tourists who use cryptocurrency for payment, according to the governor of the province, Wayan Koster, who spoke at a tourism development conference on Sunday, May 28. Koster said that the offenders may face deportation, criminal penalties, and other severe penalties.
“Foreign tourists who behave inappropriately, engage in activities not permitted by their visa permit, use crypto as a means of payment, and violate other provisions will be prosecuted.”
The Governor of the province of Bali emphasized that the Indonesian rupiah is the only legal currency allowed as a means of payment, saying that the use of any currency is against the law of Indonesia and the offenders may face to one year in prison with a fine of up to 200 million rupiah ($13,000).
Koster’s warning comes amid reports of the Governor’s plan to implement a quota system to limit the number of foreign tourists who can enter the province and also curb the influx of foreigners who violate local rules. Bali’s tourism sector, which was on top in 2019, was hit in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic, causing the island to close international tours, thus severely restricting foreign tourists to the country.
As Bali reopens its borders, the province has reported an increase in unruly behavior from tourists, which seems to be causing headaches for locals and the government.
Crypto Allowed, But Not For Payment
The Head of Bank of Indonesia for Bali, Trisno Nugroho, said that while crypto is accepted in the province, its use for payments is not. As previously reported by CryptoPotatoThe Bank of Indonesia has warned financial institutions against facilitating cryptocurrency payments.
Koster also stated that foreign exchange business activities can only take place with permission from Indonesia’s central bank, adding that operating without a license can attract the maximum sentence of imprisonment of five years and a maximum fine of 22 billion rupiah ($1.4 million).
“Violations may be subject to administrative sanctions in the form of written reprimands, obligations to pay fines, and prohibition of payment transactions.”
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