May 30, 2023

Bali’s Ban on Crypto Payments Makes Tourists Angry



Some tourists said they would consider spending their vacation in Bali, Indonesia, after the government’s crackdown against crypto payments.

Recently, the Bali government cracked down on crypto payments for goods and services, asserting that the Indonesian rupiah is the only legal tender, a matter that raised dissatisfaction among tourists, some of them said they would not visit Bali again, Cointelegraph reported.

In a press conference, Bali Governor Wayan Koster warned against using crypto as a payment method in Bali, noting that tourists who use crypto as a means of payment will be dealt with firmly. Tourists could face a number of punishments, including deportation, administrative sanctions, and criminal penalties. As well, businesses that will be caught using crypto as a payment method would be punished and forced to close operations.

During the conference, Trisno Nugroho, the head of the Bali Representative Office for Bank Indonesia — the country’s central bank, pointed out that trading crypto is allowed but the use of crypto for payments is banned. It is worth mentioning that the use of other currencies carries a maximum potential sentence of one year in prison and a fine of 200 million rupiah ($13,000).

The crypto community, for its part, shared various opinions and responses to the Indonesian decision on Reddit. Some users said that the government should not interfere in such payments as long as both parties [businesses and customers] are willing to accept the risks of using crypto as payment. Some users noted that the decision makes sense because the government wanted tourists to use the local currency.

Some Reddit users went harsher and threatened not to visit Bali again as a tourist spot. Tourism accounts for about 28% of Bali’s income, so such a decision could have an impact on its revenues from tourism.

Data from Coinmap showed that there are 36 businesses in Bali that accept crypto, mostly concentrated in Ubud.

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