Following Indonesia, Vietnam officially banned bitcoin and other virtual currencies as means of payments. According to a statement on Oct, 2017, the SBV announced that cryptocurrencies are not a “legitimate payment means” in the country. The SBV emphasized: “As from January 1, 2018, any action of issuance, provision and usage of bitcoin or other similar virtual currencies as means of payment will be prohibited and subject to prosecution or penalties from 150 million ($6,600) to 200 million ($8,800) Vietnamese dong (VND).
The decision comes as part of a new regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies initiated by Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc.
Local newspapers supposed that the ban might already have an impact on a local institution, FPT University in Hanoi. Few weeks before the ban, FPT announced accepting their students to pay for tuition in bitcoin, the ban could now force FPT to reverse this announcement. If the university continued accepting tuition payment in bitcoin, it would “commit this act of violation under the current law provisions, and may subject FPT to the appropriate sanction.” representatives of the SBV reportedly stated.
The move by the SBV is likely to come as a shock to many in the domestic cryptocurrency space. When the prime minister requested the framework to be drawn up in August, there were hopes the country might formally recognize bitcoin as a form of payment next year.
However, the country has previously issued warnings about bitcoin and blocked credit institutions from offering digital currency services.
The SBV’s view on cryptocurrencies is similar to its Indonesian officials.The central bank of Indonesia stated that bitcoin isn’t a legitimate method of payment and those who use it might be dealt with. To be restated that the prohibitive stance isn’t a blanket ban on cryptocurrencies in Vietnam or Indonesia but ‘only’ under the scope of payment instruments.
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