Bali, a tropical paradise known for its vibrant culture has always been a hotspot for digital nomads and tech-savvy travelers with Bitcoin exploding through the scene during the previous bull market.

In the ever-evolving world of finance, a new question arises: ‘Can I use Bitcoin in Bali?’ This query reflects the growing interest in cryptocurrencies globally, but the answer isn’t as straightforward as one might hope.

While Bali embraces many modern trends, the legalities surrounding Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies present a unique puzzle. Let’s delve into the intricacies of using digital currencies on this enchanting island, navigating the blend of traditional allure and modern financial landscapes.”

In recent years, there has been significant interest in the use of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin in Bali and Indonesia. However, the legal landscape regarding their use has evolved, leading to certain restrictions, especially in terms of using cryptocurrencies as a form of payment.

Cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, are legally recognized in Indonesia, but not as official currencies for transactions. Instead, they are categorized as commodities or trading assets. This classification means that while you can own, buy, and sell cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin in Indonesia, you cannot use them as a medium of exchange for goods and services.

The Indonesian government, particularly the Commodity Futures Trading Regulatory Agency (BAPPEBTI), oversees the trading of approved crypto assets, including Bitcoin. However, using cryptocurrencies as payment instruments is explicitly banned. This restriction is a part of the country’s effort to maintain the dominance of its native currency, the Indonesian rupiah, and to regulate financial transactions within its jurisdiction.

In Bali, specifically, there has been a clear stance against the use of cryptocurrencies for payments. The Governor of Bali has stated that foreign tourists could face legal consequences for using crypto as a mode of payment. This includes hotels, shopping centers, restaurants, and other tourism destinations. Violating this rule can result in severe repercussions, including administrative sanctions, criminal penalties, and even deportation.

Can I use Bitcoin in Bali? | BaliKit

Before the Indonesian government’s crackdown on the use of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as a form of payment, there were several businesses in Bali that accepted Bitcoin. However, these establishments have since ceased accepting cryptocurrencies due to the legal restrictions imposed:

  1. Cafes: A specific instance was recorded where two cafes in Bali were still using Bitcoin for transactions. However, it was noted that one of these cafes only accepted Bitcoin for transactions exceeding 243,000 rupiah (approximately 0.001 Bitcoin). The lengthy processing time of about 1.5 hours for a single transaction and the associated fee of 123,000 rupiah discouraged its wider use for payments.
  2. Diverse Range of Businesses: In a broader scope, 44 businesses in Bali, including car rental outlets, hotels, travel companies, and jewelry stores, which previously offered Bitcoin payment services, had ceased to do so. These businesses had been a part of a significant number of establishments that adopted Bitcoin but later stopped following the regulatory changes.
  3. Varied Establishments: An investigative report highlighted the existence of multiple establishments in Bali that were accepting Bitcoin payments. These included a cafe with a cryptocurrency-themed design, a meditation retreat that accepted digital currency, and a motorcycle rental shop that allowed visitors to pay with cryptocurrency. Most of these enterprises were located in Ubud, a popular tourist destination known for its cultural scene. The report indicated that at one point, there were about 36 businesses in Bali accepting cryptocurrencies as payment.

The situation regarding cryptocurrency acceptance in Bali has changed significantly due to legal restrictions, and currently, using Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies as a mode of payment is not permitted in Bali.

It’s important to understand that while possessing and trading Bitcoin is perfectly legal in Bali, using it as a form of payment is not, at least not legally. This means that shops and other business establishments no longer accept Bitcoin or any other cryptocurrencies as a form of payment. The government’s strict stance is aimed at ensuring that all financial transactions within the country are conducted in a regulated and secure manner, primarily using the Indonesian rupiah.

To summarize, while you can engage in cryptocurrency trading and hold them as assets while in Bali, you should not expect to use them as a means to pay for goods or services. It’s advisable to be well-informed about the latest regulations and to adhere strictly to them to avoid any legal issues during your stay in Bali.


The Bali Guide