Bali, one of the most popular tourist destinations in Indonesia, has issued a stern warning to visitors who use crypto for payments on the island. Wayan Koster, the governor of Bali, said that the rupiah is the only legal tender in the Southeast Asian nation. Using crypto to settle payments is illegal and is subject to penalties, including deportation, jail time, and fines.
The warning came after Kompas, a local news agency, reported that some business establishments in the popular island paradise are accepting crypto payments. Despite being illegal, several restaurants, meditation studios, and motorbike rentals are accommodating cryptocurrencies to settle transactions.
Despite the warning, Indonesia was still listed as one of the top countries in the 2022 Chainalysis crypto adoption index.
Crypto Payments Come with a Hefty Fine
The Bali governor reminded tourists that the use of other currencies other than the Indonesian rupiah comes with a jail time of up to one year and a fine of approximately $13,300. Business establishments may also face jail sentences and fines.
Crypto is not Illegal Unless Used as a Payment
The head of Bank Indonesia’s Bali office, Trisno Nugroho, clarified that trading crypto is allowed, but it should not be used for payments. Cryptocurrencies are only allowed as tradeable commodities on futures exchanges.
Crypto as Payment
Some tourists might find it more convenient to use crypto instead of converting their money to the local currency. Crypto was made to be an alternative to the current financial system and gives users the ability to transfer value quickly, securely, and cheaply compared to bank transfers. Several jurisdictions like El Salvador, Lugano, and Liechtenstein have already started to accept Bitcoin payments.
Indonesia is already allowing crypto trading and hopefully, it would consider allowing crypto as a mode of payment. This might actually have a positive impact on the country’s tourism, which is a big contributor to its economy.
Bali is part of the Indonesian Archipelago. It is situated in the Bali Sea, in the southern part of the country. Its marvelous temples, lush greeneries, and temperate climate are its major attractions. It is also known to be a surfer’s paradise. Tourism is a big part of Bali’s economy.
Source: The Straight Times
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