Vietnam’s Ministry of Finance has recently proposed a temporary ban on bitcoin mining machine imports, to “improve the management of bitcoin and cryptocurrency transactions.” The country’s government is reportedly working to increase scrutiny over BTC transactions.
According to local news outlet Vietnam Plus, cryptocurrencies like bitcoin are considered an “illegal non-cash payment method” in the country, which means residents aren’t allowed to pay for goods and services with cryptocurrencies.
The news outlet, citing a report the Ministry of Finance sent the government on cryptocurrency management, noted it argued bitcoin miners aren’t mentioned in the country’s list of goods that can’t be imported, “which has made it easy for businesses to import the machine.”
The Ministry went on to add that the use of bitcoin miners “has shown complications in management,” which subsequently, according to it, means cryptocurrencies can illegally be used as a payment method.
Vietnam Plus adds that the Ministry of Finance referenced a case to prove its point:
An organization based in the city, Modern Tech, reportedly duped 32,000 individuals in an investment of approximately 15 trillion VND (666 million USD) in two fraudulent digital currency projects.
Per its data, Vietnamese bitcoiners have imported over 15,600 bitcoin miners in total, with over 9,300 being imported last year. Most of these machines go to three main cities, Ho Chi -Minh, Hanoi, and Da Nang.
Earlier the country’s prime minister, Nguyen Xuan Phuc, asked the country’s central bank, the State Bank of Vietnam (SVB), and other financial institutions to “intensify inspections” and promptly report suspicious cryptocurrencies transactions. The prime minister’s move came after authorities issued various warnings against bitcoin and cryptocurrencies.
These warnings reportedly argued cryptocurrencies can be used in various crimes, such as terrorism financing, tax evasion, fraud, and money laundering. Vietnam Plus added:
The PM instructed the Ministry of Public Security to join hands with the SBV and relevant ministries to detect and handle any case of cryptocurrency being used for illegal payment, any activity connected to money laundering and any terrorism-related activity sponsored via cryptocurrency.
Now, the country’s Ministry of Finance is set to study the initial coin offering (ICO) industry to propose alternatives and counter the trend, while the Ministry of Industry and Trade will “channel efforts to address illegal activities related to the use of bitcoin to make payments on e-commerce websites or applications.”
As CryptoGlobe covered, the Vietnamese government moved to seize the domain of the country’s oldest cryptocurrency exchange, Bitcoin Vietnam, earlier this year, which reportedly helped the country’s bitcoin scene off the ground.
Currently, according to CryptoCompare data, a total of 87 BTC ($500,000) were traded against Vietnam’s fiat currency, the VND, in the last 24-hour period. This accounts for 0.01 percent of the flagship cryptocurrency’s trading volume in said time period.