Last May 28, the Governor of Bali, Wayan Koster , stated at a press conference to promote tourism that visitors who pay with cryptocurrencies will be subject to penalties such as deportation, criminal penalties and administrative sanctions. A representative of the popular island holiday destination in the Indonesian archipelago directly stated:
Foreign tourists who behave inappropriately, engage in activities that are not permitted or use cryptocurrencies as a means of payment and violate other provisions will be dealt with severely.
In addition, businesses caught accepting payments in cryptocurrencies will also be penalized . According to available information, they will be forced to cease operations.
Koster emphasized that all transactions carried out in Bali must be settled in the Indonesian currency (the rupiah). Using other currencies for payments carries a maximum possible penalty of one year behind bars and a fine of up to 200 million rupees (around $13,000 USD).
Trisno Nugroho, representative of the National Central Bank (Bank Indonesia) in Bali, reiterated during the meeting that cryptocurrency trading is allowed in the country. However, their use as a means of payment is illegal. The announcement is the latest in a series of efforts to crack down on unacceptable tourist behavior on the island. By the way, tourism is one of the main contributors to Bali's economy. Research shows that tourism accounts for nearly 28% of Bali's income. In the past, the island suffered during the past years a major blow from travel restrictions. It can be expected that the ban on cryptocurrency payments for goods and services for tourists will likely lead to a decrease in revenue. Some of them have already expressed that, given the current situation, they are strongly considering whether to visit Bali at all.
Despite the adamant stance of the governor of Bali and Indonesia , the country is on track to launch a national cryptocurrency exchange by next month. The Indonesian government originally planned to launch the crypto exchange by the end of 2021.