Balinese authorities have announced their intention to take strict measures against foreign tourists who engage in transactions using cryptocurrencies to purchase goods and services. This crackdown comes as an effort to regulate and control the use of digital currencies within the region.
According to a report from Tech in Asia, the Bali Provincial Government has issued a stern warning to tourists and businesspeople regarding the use of cryptocurrencies for transactions. The decision to take action was prompted by a local news publication’s discovery that tourists had been utilizing digital currencies to pay for various services such as motorbike rentals, meditation practices, and meals.
While digital assets are acknowledged as tradable commodities on futures exchanges in Indonesia, they are not recognized as valid forms of payment. Bali Governor Wayan Koster addressed the issue during a press conference on Sunday, emphasizing the potential consequences for foreign tourists who engage in cryptocurrency transactions.
Koster said, “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.“
During the press conference, Governor Wayan Koster emphasized that individuals found violating the regulations regarding cryptocurrency transactions would face legal consequences under the provisions of a 2023 law. This law specifies that individuals engaging in foreign exchanges without the required permits may face imprisonment ranging from one to five years, as well as fines ranging from 50 million rupiahs ($3,300) to 22 billion rupiahs ($1.4 million).
The oversight of the cryptocurrency industry in Indonesia falls under the jurisdiction of the Indonesia Commodity Futures Trading Regulatory Agency, commonly referred to as Bappebti. This agency is responsible for regulating and monitoring activities related to digital assets within the country.
Indonesia To Launch A National Crypto Exchange
Earlier this year, Indonesia’s Trade Minister, Zulkifli Hasan, revealed plans for the launch of the country’s national cryptocurrency exchange. Set to be named the Nat’l Exchange, this platform aims to facilitate transactions between buyers and sellers in the digital asset space.
Additionally, as a custodian, the exchange will be responsible for managing the flow of assets. The launch of the Nat’l Exchange is anticipated to take place in June, marking a significant development in Indonesia’s crypto industry.