SBV bans use of bitcoin in Viet Nam

By Trung Ngoc - Oct 31, 2017 | 05:06 AM GMT+7

TheLEADERThe State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) recently affirmed that bitcoin and other similar virtual currencies are not a legal payment instrument in Vietnam.

SBV bans use of bitcoin in Viet Nam
Bitcoin is prohibited in Vietnam. Photo: The Sun

The SBV also informed that the issuance, supply and use of such instruments are prohibited.

A statement released on October 28 stated the SBV has developed and improved a legal framework, under the Prime Minister’s direction, to regulate virtual currencies as currencies and payment instrument.

The SBV cited Article No. 4, Decree No. 101/2012/ND-CP of the Government on non-cash payment stipulating that non-cash payment instruments used in payment transactions include checks, bank cards and other instruments as prescribed by the SBV, while the illegal means of payment are those other than that specified in the article.

Sanctions for any violations in the financial and banking sector, acts of issuing, supplying and using illegal means of payment will be subjected to an administrative fine between VND150 million and VND200 million (equivalent to US$6,700 and 8,900).

From January 01, 2018, these acts may be subjected to criminal prosecution under Article 206 of the Penal Code 2015 (amended and supplemented in 2017).

The SBV also explained that such prohibition was to keep investors safe against the coin’s speculative nature.

Previously, the FPT University announced on their Facebook page that students at the university were allowed to pay tuition fees by bitcoin, as they considered it as a viable solution, especially for their foreign students.

This sparked a public controversy in which some argue that the FPT University’s acceptance of bitcoin was an initiative while others concerns about the coin being a virtual currency which is not regulated by the State.

If the FPT University continued to consider bitcoin as a legal means of payment, then it would be committing an act of violation under the current law provisions and would be subject to the appropriate sanction, the SBV’s representative said.

Bitcoin and similar virtual currencies have entered Vietnam since 2009 and experienced increasing growth each year in terms of users and an average daily transacted value in thousands of US dollars, according to reports from the General Department of Vietnam Customs (GDVC).