Bali, a popular tourist destination in Indonesia, will no longer tolerate tourists making payments in cryptocurrencies. The Bali Provincial Government said that it will commence a crackdown on foreign tourists who pay for their hotel lodgings and shopping in digital currencies.
The Governor of the province, Wayan Koster, made the assertion at Denpasar during a press briefing that had in attendance the province’s police Chief Inspector General Putu Jayan Danu Putra, a representative of the Head of Bank Indonesia (BI), Trisno Nugroho, and other financial and regulatory agency representatives.
Punitive actions for paying with crypto
According to Governor Koster,
“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.”
The governor added that foreign tourists and business owners who do not comply with the guidelines will potentially face deportation, criminal penalties, the closure of erring businesses, and other punitive measures.
Administrative sanctions on offenders
The governor made reference to Indonesian Law No. 7 of 2011, stating that no other currency other than the rupiah is acceptable as a method of payment in the province. Law No. 7 says that people who use other forms of payment are liable to one-year imprisonment and a fine of Rp 200 million (US$13,300).
“Violations will be subject to administrative sanctions in the form of written reprimands, obligations to pay fines, and prohibitions from payment transactions,” Koster said.
Foreign exchange without license
Koster highlighted that the use of cryptocurrencies in payment can be likened to foreign exchange transactions without a license. This is an offense that carries a minimum of one year’s imprisonment as well as a minimum fine of Rp 50 million (US$3,300).
The representative of the Head of the Bank of Indonesia (BI), Nugroho, said that even though crypto assets are allowed in the country, they are restricted as a form of payment.
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