Vietnam Proposes Import Ban on Crypto Mining Hardware
Vietnam’s Ministry of Finance (MoF) has proposed a temporary blanket ban on the importation of cryptocurrency mining equipment in the country, local news outlet VN EXPRESS reported.
In its statement, the MoF noted that the mining rigs were being used to try and create new currencies and forms of payment that were difficult to regulate.
“Mining machines are not on the list of goods banned from importation and are not subject to the list of specialized management or unsafe goods, so enterprises are easily allowed to complete the import procedures,” the ministry said.
According to the General Department of Vietnam Customs, the country imported over 6,300 rigs, or application-specific integrated circuit devices used to mine cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin and ethereum, in the first four months of this year. In 2017, more than 9,300 mining rigs were imported into Vietnam, most of which went to Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi capital.
The ministry said that the use of the devices to mine cryptocurrencies in the country is difficult for the authority to manage. It also referred to the allegedly fraudulent initial coin offering (ICO) of Modern Tech, a Vietnamese IT firm, in April. The allegations claim that 32,000 investors were swindled out of VND15 trillion ($660M USD) through sales of two ECR-20-standard tokens, Ifan and Pincoin.
According to the ministry, in order to protect the Vietnamese people from similar scams in the future, the state management agencies should take strict control measures with the import and use of cryptocurrency mining equipments.
Currently, all transactions in cryptocurrencies are illegal in Vietnam. The central bank issued a notice in October last year stating that from January 1, 2018,“the act of issuing, supplying, and using illegal means of payment, including bitcoin and other similar cryptocurrencies, may be subject to prosecution.” Those providing “unlawful means of payment” (cryptocurrency) may also be subject to a minimum fine of 150 million dong ($6,600 USD).
In April this year, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan signed a directive to strengthen “the management of activities related to bitcoin and other virtual currencies.” He also ordered the Ministry of Justice to complete the legal framework for managing and dealing with digital assets.
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