The government of Bali, Indonesia, recently cracked down on crypto payments for goods and services, reminding tourists that the Indonesian rupiah is the only legal tender. Some tourists were dissatisfied with the decision, saying that they would not visit again.
On May 28, the Indonesian government affirmed that tourists using crypto for payments “will be dealt with firmly.” They could be subject to punishments such as deportation, criminal penalties and administrative sanctions. In addition, businesses caught accepting crypto could also be punished and forced to close operations.
The crypto community shared various responses, with some saying that the ban “makes sense” and some threatening not to visit the tourist hotspot again.
On Reddit, a community member shared their belief that the form of payment used “should be up to businesses and customers.“ The Redditor said if both parties are willing to accept the risks of using crypto as payment, they should be permitted to proceed with their transactions.
On the other hand, another Redditor believes that the ban “makes sense” for Indonesia. According to the community member, the country uses tourist money to “prop up their currency.” This allows the currency to hold its value. Despite this, the Redditor expressed that they disagreed with the ban.
While some offered arguments and perspectives on the issue, others chose a simpler approach — reconsidering their plans to visit Bali. A community member wrote:
While many were against the ban, some came to Indonesia’s defense. According to one Redditor, they are just protecting their income. Taxes can only be applied when there are regulations. In this case, the community member believes that Indonesia does not have this yet. “They see their cash cow running away and can do nothing to stop it. So there’s one thing to do: build fences,” they wrote.
Tourism is a major sector contributing to Bali’s economy. Research shows that tourism makes up almost 28% of Bali’s income. It helps the economy by creating opportunities and jobs for the locals. This suggests that if tourists stop visiting the country, it could also lead to a drop in income.