Vietnam to fine cryptocurrency traders
Starting from January 1, 2018, cryptocurrencies will become outlawed in Vietnam, and a penalty equivalent to $9 000 will be imposed for such transactions. The Central Bank of the country recently issued a relevant notice.
The legal framework for Bitcoin and other virtual currencies was developed by the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) on behalf of the Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc. In August 2017, the Prime Minister defined a deadline for this task – 12 months. However, the notice on legal means of payment recognized in the country appeared earlier.
In a recently released document, the Central Bank listed the non-cash payment methods allowed in the country, including checks, collection and payment orders, bank cards and other payment means approved by the monetary regulator. Bitcoin is not included to this list; moreover, the new amendment explicitly states that “the issuance, supply and use of illegal means of payment (including bitcoin and other such virtual currencies) are subject to prosecution”. The penalty for this offense is also determined, it is equivalent to $9 thousand.
Despite the unambiguous prohibition of cryptocurrency, the new document does not clarify whether the activities of cryptocurrency exchanges are legitimate and whether mining is legal.
The new resolution providing fines for cryptocurrency traders contradicts the previous position of Vietnam regarding blockchain and cryptocurrencies: in August, the media claimed that the government was ready to legalize Bitcoin.
Today, Vietnam is not the only country where Bitcoin circulation is prohibited. A week earlier, the head of the Indonesian bank said that Bitcoin was not recognized as the official mean of payment in the country, and those who are trying to implement it will face prosecution. In Iceland and Ecuador, Bitcoin is also banned, and in China operations with cryptocurrency are limited.