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Bali Bans Bitcoin Payments in Crypto Crackdown Targeting Tourists

2 mins
Updated by Kyle Baird
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In Brief

  • Crypto violators in Bali "will be dealt with firmly."
  • Payments with currencies other than rupiah are illegal.
  • Indonesia had planned a crypto bourse.
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Indonesian tourist hot spot Bali is cracking down on crypto. The local government does not want tourists using digital currencies for payments.

The Bali Provincial Government will crack down on foreign tourists using crypto as a means of payment. On May 28, Bali Governor Wayan Koster told local media:

“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 message, a clear signal from an island that thrives on foreign tourism, may damage the industry.

Bali Bans Crypto Payments

Bali enjoyed more than 6 million foreign tourist arrivals before the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. Many used cryptocurrencies to pay for hotels, restaurants, tourism destinations, and shopping.

Koster went on to list severe punishments for violators, seemingly putting digital asset usage in the same category as narcotics.

“Strict actions range from deportation, administrative sanctions, criminal penalties, closure of business premises, and other tough sanctions.”

Indonesia has strict laws regarding currency use and fines or imprisonment for those using anything other than its rupiah.

There was also a warning to foreign exchange businesses. Those operating without permission from the county’s central bank could be punished with prison sentences and a maximum fine of $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,” he said.

The head of Bank Indonesia, Director Trisno Nugroho, said that crypto was allowed in the country but not as a payment method.

Thailand, another popular tourist destination in Asia, has also banned crypto payments though trading is possible in the kingdom.

Indonesia Crypto Stock Exchange

The move goes against Indonesia’s otherwise friendly treatment of the digital asset industry. Furthermore, Bitcoin has been recognized as a commodity in Indonesia which also has a regulatory framework for crypto platforms and exchanges.

Indonesia’s Ministry of Trade is reportedly planning to launch a national crypto stock exchange by June. The bourse was originally due to launch in late 2022 but has faced several delays.


In adherence to the Trust Project guidelines, BeInCrypto is committed to unbiased, transparent reporting. This news article aims to provide accurate, timely information. However, readers are advised to verify facts independently and consult with a professional before making any decisions based on this content.

Martin Young
Martin has been covering the latest developments on cyber security and infotech for two decades. He has previous trading experience and has been actively covering the blockchain...