Vietnam’s central bank, the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV), has recently agreed to a proposal brought forth by the country’s Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) to halt cryptocurrency miner imports, in an attempt to “avoid harming local consumers.”
According to local news outlet Viet Nam News, the country’s Deputy Prime Minister, Trinh Dinh Dung, asked the MoIT, the Ministry of Finance (MoF), and the central bank to study cryptocurrency miner imports “based on their management and current legal regulations.” MoIT’s proposal was based on a request from the MoF.
Per the Ministry of Finance, cryptocurrency miners aren’t mentioned in the country’s list of goods that can’t be imported, which is making it easier for businesses to import these machines. While these can be imported and used, cryptocurrencies are seen as an “illegal non-cash payment method” in the country.
The MoF reasons that without proper controls, mining machines will allow for cryptocurrency transactions. Viet Nam News’ report reads:
The use of mining equipment for bitcoin, litecoin and other cryptocurrencies in the country is difficult for the authorities to manage. Thus it is easy for people to use cryptocurrencies as a currency or another method of payment, which is illegal in Vietnam according to the amended Decree 101 on non-cash payments.
To strengthen its argument, the Ministry referenced a case in which an organization dubbed Modern Tech allegedly duped 32,000 investors out of 15 trillion VND (over $660 million) in two fraudulent cryptocurrency-related projects dubbed Ifan and Pincoin.
The Ministry argues, as such, that to protect Vietnamese people from future scams, the state needs to control the imports of cryptocurrency miners. The country imported over 15,600 BTC miners in total, with over 9,300 coming in last year.
Earlier, Vietnamese authorities repeatedly warned the public against bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, arguing these can be used in various crimes, including terrorism and money laundering.
Back in May, the Vietnamese government moved to seize the domain of the country’s oldest bitcoin exchange, Bitcoin Vietnam, which reportedly helped the country’s bitcoin scene off the ground.
At press time, according to CryptoCompare data, a total of 1,823 BTC were traded for Vietnam’s fiat currency, the VND, in the last 24 hours. This means it accounts for 0.25% of the flagship cryptocurrency’s trading volume in said time period.