Indonesia’s Bali bans crypto payments for tourist, community unhappy

Indonesia’s Bali bans crypto payments for tourist, community unhappy

Bali’s provincial government to crack down on foreign tourists using crypto as a means of payment in hotels, restaurants, tourism destinations, shopping centers and other places. Bali Governor Wayan Koster mentioned at a press conference on Sunday that tourists with inappropriate behavior as well perform illegitimate activities which are not allowed in the visa permit, using Crypto as a means of payment and violating other provisions will be dealt with firmly.

Koster further highlighted the use of Penal actions against the people involved ranging from deportation, administrative sanctions, criminal penalties, closure of business premises and other tough sanctions. The use of foreign currencies for payment is also prohibited in Indonesia, as the only valid tender is the Indonesian rupiah.

The crypto community shared various responses, with some in favour and some discouraging the move. While some offered arguments and perspectives on the issue, others chose a simpler approach reconsidering their plans to visit Bali.

On Reddit, a community member shared their belief that the form of payment used “should be up to businesses and customers.“ The Redditor said if both parties are willing to accept the risks of using crypto as payment, they should be permitted to proceed with their transactions. While many were against the ban, some came to Indonesia’s defense. A Redditor highlighted the country’s move is to merely protect the income.

Koster has taken a tougher stance towards foreigners. Earlier this month, the governor proposed a “quota system” to control entry to the island due to concerns about tourist behavior.

In Indonesia, the emergence of blockchain technology is admittedly late compared to other ASEAN countries. Blockchain technology became popular alongside the development of the term cryptocurrency which started to attract the younger generation. The financial authority, in 2018, prohibited the use of virtual currency as a means of payment. This was because the risk it carries is high, namely the absence of a responsible authority, no underlying assets, and highly volatile trading values.

In Indonesia, the use of cryptocurrencies as a form of payment is prohibited by both local laws and Islamic law, which is upheld by about 87% of the country’s 273 million inhabitants. The nation, however, classifies cryptocurrency assets as commodities, putting them in the same group as goods like gold or grains. Thus, Cryptocurrency trading as a commodity in Indonesia is legal and is officially regulated by the Commodity Futures Trading Regulatory Agency (BAPPEBTI), a body under the Ministry of Trade.

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