Balinese authorities said they would crack down on foreign tourists who pay for products and services using cryptocurrencies.
Tech in Asia reports the Bali Provincial Government threatened to impose strict sanctions on tourists and businesspeople who use cryptocurrencies for payments. Authorities decided to take action after a local news publication, Kompas, found tourists had been paying for services such as motorbike rentals, meditation practices, and meals using cryptocurrencies.
In Indonesia, digital assets are officially recognised as tradeable commodities on future exchanges but cannot be used as a payment method.
Bali Governor Wayan Koster spoke at a press conference on Sunday, where he warned foreign tourists of using crypto assets as a means of payment.
Foreign tourists who behave inappropriately, carry out activities that are not in accordance with visa permits, use crypto as a means of payment transactions, and violate other provisions will be dealt with strictly according to laws and regulations.
The Governor said individuals contravening the laws would be dealt with in terms of a 2023 law which states that individuals found conducting foreign exchanges without a necessary permit may be subject to one to five years in prison and a fine of 50 million ($3,300) to 22 billion rupiahs ($1.4 million).
Oversight of the crypto industry in Indonesia is governed by the Indonesia Commodity Futures Trading Regulatory Agency, also known as Bappebti.
Indonesia To Launch a National Crypto Exchange
Indonesia’s trade minister, Zulkifli Hasan, announced earlier in the year that the country’s long-awaited national crypto exchange would launch in June.
The exchange, dubbed the Nat’l Exchange, will act as a mediator between buyers and sellers and, as a custodian, will manage the flow of assets.
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