• Bali cryptocurrency crackdown

    BI investigation finds 44 businesses were using Bitcoin, but estimates actual usage even higher

    An investigation lead by Bank Indonesia (BI), the country’s central bank, found 44 businesses on the island were receiving cryptocurrency transactions.

    The 44 businesses are in the tourism and hospitality sector, including vehicle rental services, cafes, and tour packages, according to head representative of BI Bali Province, Causa Iman Karana.

    The findings are the result of a BI-led investigation on the island, which was announced almost two weeks ago, surveying a number of businesses suspected of using cryptocurrency, particularly Bitcoin, based on tips from the community and information found on social media.

    “We found that the current number is 44, but we estimate it may be more than that,” Karana said on Tuesday.

    The BI team went directly to the businesses in question. Most of them claimed to have already put a stop to accepting cryptocurrency transactions, Karana said, adding that BI will continue to keep an eye on these businesses.

    However, there were two businesses, one of which includes a cafe in the Ubud area, that seems to still be accepting Bitcoin, despite government regulations, mandating otherwise.

    At the moment, BI is giving warnings in the form of “reprimands” to businesses found using crytpocurrency, but make no mistake: police will crack down harder in the future, cautions Karana.

    BI previously prohibited service providers, fintech, e-commerce, and electronic payment gateways from accepting cryptocurrency, under the justification that it is not recognized as a valid form of payment under Law no. 7/2011, concerning currency, which defines currency as money issued by the Republic of Indonesia—ie Indonesian Rupiah.

    The central bank has taken a very cautionary approach to cryptocurrency, warning Indonesians that Bitcoin is “risky” and “full of speculation” because of no responsible governing authority or administrator, making it very volatile.

    As a result, Bitcoin is vulnerable to the risk of inflation and is also prone to money laundering and financing terrorism, so it could very much affect the stability of the financial system and do harm to the public, fears BI.

    Sources: https://coconuts.co/bali/news/bali-cryptocurrency-crackdown-bi-investigation-finds-44-businesses-were-using-bitcoin-but-estimates-actual-usage-even-higher/
    Re-posted by Pande

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