Bali, 1 Year Jail and $13,000 Fine for Tourists Paying with Crypto!

In the heart of Bali’s magnificent landscapes, a new regulation is making waves: tourists are now forbidden to use cryptocurrency to pay for their expenses. While crypto trading is perfectly legal in Indonesia, the Balinese government, led by Wayan Koster, recently announced at a press conference drastic measures to crack down on the practice. Offenders risk criminal sanctions and even the closure of their commercial establishments.

Bali governor firmly bans crypto payments

The Governor of Bali, Wayan Koster took strict measures to combat the use of crypto as a means of payment. During a press conference held in Bali on Sunday May 28, in the presence of representatives of the police and the Indonesian central bank, the governor issued a clear warning to tourists. He warned them of serious consequences awaiting them if they use cryptocurrency for their transactions.

Wayan Koster pointed out that the Indonesian rupiah is the only legal currency accepted for payments in the country, and that the use of other currencies, including crypto, is severely punished by law.

Tourists who violate this ban face severe penalties, including up to 1 year’s imprisonment and a fine of up to 200 million rupees (about $13,000).

Chief Inspector of the Bali Police, Trisno Nugroho present at the press conference, also said that cryptocurrency trading is permitted in Indonesia, but its use as a means of payment is strictly prohibited.

Two days before the Governor’s announcement, an investigative report published by the country’s official newspaper, Kompas, has revealed the existence of several businesses in Bali accepting crypto payments. Among them are a meditation retreat, a motorcycle rental business and a crypto-focused café.

However, data from the community project Coinmap, which maps crypto-accepting businesses, indicate that there are currently 36 businesses in Bali that accept cryptocurrency, mostly concentrated in the tourist town of Ubud.

Indonesia prepares to roll out a National Exchange!

Despite a strict ban by Bali’s governor, Indonesia’s crypto scene seems to be taking an interesting turn. Indeed, the Indonesian Ministry of Commerce, headed by Zulkifli Hasan has ambitious plans for the deployment of a National Exchange.

Initially scheduled for the end of last year, the platform encountered a few obstacles along the way, but according to the latest information, it should finally be up and running by next month.. This would be a major milestone for Indonesia in the crypto field.

The Department of Commerce will play a key role as custodian and clearing house for local crypto markets. This initiative clearly shows that the country recognizes the growing importance of crypto and is looking to integrate it into its financial system.

With these ministry-backed initiatives, one wonders whether the Bali governor’s tough ban will have enough impact. It seems that the country is preparing to welcome crypto in a more official way, which could change the game in the near future. This development is not surprising given the growing trend of Asian countries to embrace the new technology.