Oct 30, 2017 by Andrei Calina

Vietnamese citizens won’t be able to use cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin as a method of payment in the country after the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV), Vietnam’s central bank, completed developing a legal framework to ban it, informs CCN.

In the announcement made today, the State Bank of Vietnam listed the recognized exceptions among non-cash payment methods approved by the authority. It includes checks, payment orders and bank cards (credit and debit, but it misses Bitcoin, meaning that the most popular cryptocurrency has become illegal in Vietnam.

But what about mining Bitcoin?

To be accurate, the statement doesn’t exactly stipulate if only payments are illegal or even cryptocurrency mining and “issuance and supply” of Bitcoin stand by the same side of the law. “[A]ccording 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,” says in the notice.

This news comes rather as a surprise, after the initial plan that was discussed back in August was supposed to release legislative drafts to legalize cryptocurrencies before the tax guidelines for adopters in mid-2019. But Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc seems to have had a change of heart and the State Bank of Vietnam is only following his orders.

Use cryptocurrencies and you will be fined!

To make things even worse for Vietnamese Bitcoin users, the announcement also reveals details of fines and the possibility of further prosecution for those who dare to break the law. We’re talking about a fine between VND 150 million and 200 million [approx. $9,000], while the prosecution “detail’ comes into operation on January 1, 2018.

Vietnam’s decision on cryptocurrencies is similar to what Indonesia concluded to do on the issue. Last week, Bank Indonesia (BI) governor Agus Martowardojo stated that Bitcoin won’t be acknowledged as an official method of payment by the central bank