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Jakarta Post

BI investigates use of bitcoin in Bali

  • News Desk

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Sun, January 21, 2018   /   09:49 pm
BI investigates use of bitcoin in Bali Bank Indonesia (BI) is probing into alleged transactions made in Bali after finding the indication of the activity on social media. Late last year, the central bank banned the use cryptocurrency, including bitcoin, in Indonesia. (Shutterstock/File)

Bank Indonesia (BI) is investigating alleged bitcoin transactions made in Bali after it found indication of the activity on social media.

BI Bali office head Causa Iman Karana said according to social media content, Bali was a haven for transactions using the cryptocurrency.

According to results from the investigation, which kicked off late December after BI’s ban, two cafes have been accepting bitcoin as a payment method.

It was previously found that 44 businesses, including car rental operations, hotels, travel agencies and jewelry shops, welcomed bitcoin transactions.

Read also: Bank Indonesia, police prevent bitcoin transactions in Bali

Karana said one of the cafes accepted transactions using bitcoin for invoices of more than Rp 243,000 (US$18.25), which is equivalent to 0.001 bitcoins. It took the cafe an hour and a half to process each transaction, while the administration fee was Rp 123,000.

“Our next step is to block them in accordance with the law. We asked them to stop using bitcoins,” said Karana as quoted by kompas.com. “We, together with the National Police's Special Crimes Directorate, will enforce the regulation that designates rupiah as the only currency for all transactions in Indonesia.”

Bitcoin users in Bali, Indonesia’s most popular tourist destination, are mostly foreigners who stay there over extended periods of time.

Previously, BI claimed bitcoin was a high risk and speculative virtual currency because it was not regulated by a particular legal entity and was without a clear asset base to help determine prices.

The bank has banned monetary transactions using bitcoin, owing to the fact that only one currency is valid in Indonesia, namely rupiah. (fny/lnd)