Bali bans tourists from paying in cryptocurrencies
Bali, Indonesia, has waived crypto-currency payments for hotel stays, restaurant bills and shopping malls. The government has warned all visiting tourists against using cryptocurrencies for everyday transactions and purchases.
Payers often use cryptocurrency transactions for illegal activities such as money laundering and terrorist financing because they are difficult to trace. Those who break the law may face deportation orders or criminal penalties. Depending on the court's decision, violators can be fined up to $13,000 and imprisoned for up to one year. In addition, accepting payments in cryptocurrencies can expose merchants to the risk of losing their business license.
Bali, which relies heavily on tourism for its income, has experienced difficult economic times during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. To increase revenue, many businesses in Bali have started accepting crypto payments for greater customer convenience. Currently, crypto assets can be traded as commodities under the supervision of the Indonesian Ministry of Commerce. However, banks in the country have been instructed not to process crypto payments.
The governor of Bali, Wayan Koster, approved a circular that spelled out the rules for the behavior of tourists on the island. Document SE No. 4 2023 came into force on May 31 and officially regulates what actions of foreign visitors can lead to problems with the local police. The Governor of Bali warned that ignoring this set of rules will lead tourists to big problems.
In particular, there are eight items on the list of prohibitions. The first restricts visits to sanctuaries for sightseeing purposes. Inside the temples, only foreigners who are going to undergo a traditional service are allowed. The second forbids touching sacred trees. Tourists love to take pictures with them. For example, in April, a Russian woman was expelled from the country for a candid photo shoot with the famous eucalyptus in the village of Bayang. For local residents, this tree has a sacred status.
Desecration of the sacred symbols and temples of Bali is also not allowed. For example, taking candid photographs against the background of such structures. For tourists who leave garbage in nature, near water bodies and the sea or in public places, new fines are introduced.
Another point restricts the use of disposable plastic bags and plastic straws on the island. Offensive remarks against the Balinese police, civil servants or local residents are also not allowed. At the same time, problems will arise not only in personal communication, but also because of condemning posts on social networks. In addition, any foreigner who has any employment relationship in Bali is required to have an appropriate permit. Finally, it is forbidden to trade in rare plants, animals, sacred artifacts and drugs. Obviously, this measure directly intersects with the current legislation. According to media reports, Bali Governor Wayan Coster said that foreign tourists who exhibit inappropriate behavior, violate visa restrictions, use cryptocurrencies as payment or violate other rules will suffer serious consequences. They face fines, deportation and even prison. “Everyone should take this circular seriously, implement it and distribute it to all their employees and foreign tourists visiting Bali,” the official concluded.