Vietnam’s central bank is forbidding the use of bitcoin payments and other cryptocurrencies as payment methods.
As per the statement made on October 30, 2017, the State Bank of Vietnam stated that cryptocurrencies are not a “legal way of payment” within the country, and the “issuance, supply, use of bitcoin and other related virtual currency as a mode of payment is forbidden.”
From next year, it continues, unlawful use of cryptocurrencies as a payment method will be penalized by fines between 150 million ($6,600) and 200 million ($8,800) Vietnamese dong (VND).
The central bank says:
“As from January 1, 2018, the act of issuing, offering and using unlawful methods of payment (including bitcoin and other related virtual currency) may be subject to legal action.”
These steps come as part of a new legal provision for cryptocurrencies prompted by Vietnam’s Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc. That operation has now been concluded and the framework forwarded to the government, the State Bank states.
Local reports indicate that the prohibition may already be having an effect on local bodies.
News source VietnamPlus stated that FTP University in Hanoi, which lately declared it would enable students to pay for tuition in bitcoin, could now be compelled to repeal that choice. Delegaes of the State Bank reportedly said that, if the university went on to consider bitcoin as a “lawful method of payment,” it would be “perpetrating an act of crime under the current legal framework, and may subject the university to the specific penalty.”
The decision by the central bank is expected to come as a blow to many in the local cryptocurrency space. When the prime minister asked the framework to be mapped out in August, there was optimism the country may officially recognize bitcoin as a mode of payment next year.
Nevertheless, the country has earlier released warnings about bitcoin and restricted credit institutions from providing digital currency services.