Indonesian province Bali has stated that tourists are not allowed to make payments 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 tackle problematic foreigners who violate local laws.
Offending Foreign Tourists to Face Tough Sanctions
Bali will take action against foreign tourists who use cryptocurrency for payment, according to the province’s Governor Wayan Koster, who spoke at a tourism development press conference on Sunday, May 28. Koster said offenders could face deportation, criminal penalties, and other tough sanctions.
“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 Bali provincial Governor buttressed that the Indonesian rupiah was the only legal currency allowed as a payment means, stating that the use of any other currency contravened Indonesia’s law and offenders could face one-year imprisonment along with a fine of up to 200 million rupiah ($13,000).
Koster’s warning comes amid reports about the Governor’s plan to implement a quota system to limit the number of foreign tourists entering the province and also curb the influx of foreigners who violate local rules. Bali’s tourism sector, which peaked in 2019, took a hit in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic, causing the island to close international flights, thereby severely restricting foreign tourists into the country.
While Bali has since reopened its borders, the province stated that there has been a rise in unruly behavior from tourists, which is seemingly causing headaches for locals and the government.
Crypto is Allowed, But Not for Payments
The Head of the Bank of Indonesia for Bali, Trisno Nugroho, said that while crypto was acceptable in the province, its use for payment was not. As previously reported by CryptoPotato, the Bank of Indonesia warned financial institutions against facilitating cryptocurrency payments.
Koster also stated that foreign exchange business activities can only happen with permission from Indonesia’s central bank, adding that operating without a license could attract a maximum prison sentence of five years and a maximum fine of 22 billion rupiah ($1.4 million).
“Violations will be subject to administrative sanctions in the form of written reprimands, obligations to pay fines, and prohibitions from payment transactions.”
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