The State Bank of Vietnam (SBV), Vietnam’s central bank, has completed developing a legal framework for cryptocurrencies in the country following orders by Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc.
SBV released a statement on October 30, outlining the recognized exceptions among non-cash payment methods approved by the authority. They include conventional payment mechanisms such as checks, payment orders and bank cards (credit and debit). Bitcoin isn’t among them and is, by default, ruled as an illegal payment instrument.
“According to the provisions of the law, Bitcoin and other virtual currencies are not lawful means of payment in Vietnam; the issuance, supply, use of bitcoin and other similar virtual currency as a means of payment is prohibited in Vietnam,” the statement says.
The statement also revealed details of fines and the possibility of further prosecution for cryptocurrency adopters:
“Use of illegal means of payment (including Bitcoin and other similar virtual currencies) will be subject to a fine of between VND 150 million and 200 million [approx. $9,000]. At the same time, as of January 1, 2018, the act of issuing or using an illegal means of payment (including bitcoin and other similar virtual currencies) may be subject to prosecution.”
The information still does not reveal any explicit guidelines on cryptocurrency mining, as the ban only extends to their use as payment instruments.