Bank Indonesia (BI) has taken action in response to the growing trend of cryptocurrency transactions in Indonesia, particularly in popular tourist destinations like Bali. Governor Perry Warjiyo reaffirmed that, in accordance with the country’s legislation, the only recognized and legal payment instrument in Indonesia is the Indonesian Rupiah.
During a press conference following the Board of Governors Meeting (RDG) held on Thursday (May 25, 2023), Governor Perry addressed the issue, stating, “According to the BI Act, it is clear that cryptocurrencies are not considered legitimate payment instruments within Indonesia.”
This statement highlights the central bank’s stance on the matter and its commitment to upholding the established legal framework surrounding payment systems in the country.
Recognizing the growing concerns associated with the use of cryptocurrencies as a means of payment, Bank Indonesia has initiated an investigation into instances where foreign nationals (WNAs) have been observed utilizing cryptocurrency for transactions.
Governor Perry emphasized that these cases will be closely examined and monitored to ascertain the extent of their validity and adherence to existing regulations.
In an effort to maintain financial stability and mitigate potential risks, Bank Indonesia is prepared to take decisive action, including the imposition of sanctions, if any violations involving the use of cryptocurrencies for payment are identified within the country.
Governor Perry stated firmly, “If sanctions are necessary, they will be enforced without hesitation. It is crucial to reiterate that cryptocurrencies are not recognized as legal payment instruments in Indonesia.”
The need for these measures was underscored by a recent incident involving the arrest of a foreign national from Belarus by local authorities in Bali. The individual was apprehended for engaging in the illicit trade of narcotics, specifically marijuana, using cryptocurrency as a medium of exchange.
The transaction reportedly took place through a Telegram group, shedding light on the illicit activities that can occur when cryptocurrencies are used outside the established financial framework.
As Bank Indonesia continues its investigation and monitors the evolving landscape of cryptocurrency transactions, it aims to safeguard the integrity of the Indonesian payment system.
Efforts are being made to raise awareness among both domestic and foreign stakeholders regarding the legal and regulatory framework surrounding payment instruments. By maintaining a vigilant stance and taking decisive action when necessary, Bank Indonesia strives to protect the financial well-being of individuals and uphold the stability of the national economy.