Bali Issues Warning to Tourists: Avoid Utilizing Cryptocurrency for Transactions

Bali's Governor

Bali’s Governor Asserts Strong Stance: Strict Action Promised Against Crypto Payments for Accommodation, Restaurants, Activities, and Shopping.

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Crypto enthusiasts looking for a tropical getaway in Bali, one of Indonesia’s highly sought-after tourist destinations, have received a cautionary message discouraging the use of digital assets as a means of payment.

The local media reported that Bali’s governor, Wayan Koster, expressed a firm stance on the matter, stating that individuals utilizing cryptocurrencies to settle expenses related to accommodation, dining at restaurants, engaging in activities, or indulging in shopping would be met with severe repercussions.

It appears that the popular holiday spot is taking a strict approach towards crypto transactions, aiming to discourage their use within its boundaries.

According to reports, Bali’s governor, Wayan Koster, has issued a strong warning to foreign tourists engaging in inappropriate behavior, violating visa permit regulations, utilizing cryptocurrencies for transactions, and contravening other regulations.

The governor emphasized that such actions would be met with resolute action. Consequences for non-compliance include deportation, sanctions, criminal penalties, and potential closure of businesses.

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It’s important to note that Indonesia strictly prohibits the use of foreign currencies for payments, recognizing only the Indonesian rupiah as the valid legal tender.

Recent media reports have indicated a growing trend in Seminyak, a popular tourist hub located in Bali’s southern region, where cryptocurrencies are increasingly being used as a form of payment for specific goods and services.

However, Governor Wayan Koster has adopted a stricter approach towards foreigners in response to this development. In fact, just this month, the governor proposed the implementation of a “quota system” as a means to regulate entry to the island, primarily due to concerns surrounding tourist behavior.

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Bali has been navigating a delicate balance, striving to welcome tourists back to its shores in the post-COVID era, while also effectively managing the sudden surge in visitor numbers.

In March 2020, Indonesia took the decision to close its borders to international travelers, a measure that remained in effect for nearly two years. However, starting from February of the following year, the country gradually began reopening its doors. The prolonged closure significantly impacted foreign tourism in Indonesia, leading to a staggering decline of over 75% in visitor numbers from pre-pandemic levels between 2020 and 2022.

The tourism industry suffered greatly as a result. To mitigate the impact and attract foreign interest, some businesses, supported by Jakarta, the nation’s capital, have turned to digital assets, specifically non-fungible tokens (NFTs), as a means to stimulate investment and generate renewed interest in the sector.

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In 2018, Indonesia recognized cryptocurrencies as commodities, permitting their trading through centralized exchanges and allowing individual investors to possess them within the legal framework.

However, based on regulatory provisions from 2019 and 2020, only 229 specific assets are authorized for trading by entities that possess the necessary licenses and adhere to the regulations established by Bappetbi, the regulatory body overseeing futures trading in Indonesia.

It is important to note that utilizing cryptocurrencies as a form of payment is strictly prohibited under these regulations.

Important: This article is intended solely for informational purposes. It should not be considered or relied upon as legal, tax, investment, financial, or any other form of advice.

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