The Vietnamese market is under the eye of the government as of late due to a scam which saw a reported VND 150 trillion ($650 million) stolen from local Vietnamese investors on April 8, 2018.
Rallying All the Ministries Around New Crypto Regulation
The Vietnamese firm responsible had its office raided in Ho Chi Minh City on Sunday, April 8th, 2018. The tech firm was pushing iFan.io and Pincoin, both reported to be registered in Singapore and Dubai, but up to 90 percent of the investees were Vietnamese nationals. An infographic (in Vietnamese) about the details is available here.
In light of this event, on April 11, 2018, the Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc sent a directive, 10/CT-TTg, to several Ministries to up their vigilance and oversight on the hotly discussed, but dangerous ICO and cryptocurrency markets.
The directive was sent to the following government entities: State Bank of Vietnam (SBV), Ministry of Finance (MoF), Ministry of Public Security, Ministry of Industry and Trade, Ministry of Justice, and Ministry of Information and Communications.
The directive specifically demands the SBV direct all banks, credit institutions, payment intermediaries to forbid the support of transactions and activities related to cryptocurrency and to report suspicious activities. This includes opening accounts suspected of using funds to buy any variety of digital cash.
Similarly, the document also directed the MoF to research how other countries are drawing up regulation and asking the ministry to address other public companies to avoid doing any business in areas of cryptocurrency.
The Prime Minister asked the Ministry of Public Security to intensify its investigation of firms who contravene current laws, such as investment fraud, illegal multi-level marketing schemes, and internet fraud. It has asked the Ministry of Industry and Trade to assist in this investigation.
The Ministry of Justice was requested to coordinate with MoF to draw up relevant regulations related to issuance, and capital raising in regards to cryptocurrency. The Ministry of Information and Communication has been requested to direct press & information agencies to intensify the message on risks and consequences of virtual currencies.
A confirmed source shared with BTCManager that another directive by the State Bank of Vietnam has been received to cease transactions and support activities that are related to cryptocurrency. VNexpress has recently affirmed these claims.
The overall market sentiment in Vietnam is of caution around the emerging digital economy; however blockchain technology firms are thriving. Vietnam remains a key destination for talented developers for blockchain firms from Singapore, Korea, Hong Kong, and Japan.