Crypto regulation in Indonesia has taken a new turn as Bali Governor issues a stern warning to tourists who are using crypto assets as substitutes for money in the country. He hosted a press conference on May 28 explaining that the crypto remains illegal in the country and that those who use it as means of payment will be dealt with firmly including tourists.

Crypto regulation becomes more sensitive in Indonesia

While other countries are working on crypto regulation frameworks to foster innovation, Indonesia is joining a group of the ones that take digital assets as economic threats. The Bank of Indonesia Governor Wayan Koster has asserted that the nation will not loosen its laws regarding crypto usage.

He explained that there will be a range of penalties for tourists who will be caught using cryptos including deportation, administrative sanctions, penalties, closure of their business premises, and further legal actions depending on the gravity of the situation.

The press conference was attended by Bali’s Chief Police Inspector and the head of the Bali Representative Office for the Bank of Indonesia, Trisno Nugroho. Nugroho however reaffirmed that crypto trading in the country is still allowed but the usage of crypto as a means of payment is banned and thus punishable by law.

Koster noted that the only legal means of payment in the country is the Rupiah with the use of all other forms of payment being considered against the law and carrying a maximum sentence of one year in prison or a fine of 200 million Rupiah ($13,000)

This news comes at a controversial time as there are already 37 businesses in Bali that accept crypto. Also, Indonesia was planning to launch a crypto exchange in 2022 but the plan was not successful as it was hit by delays.