Vietnam is firmly placing itself as one of the countries hostile to cryptocurrencies. After banning cryptos as a payment method last year, the nation has now halted the importation of crypto mining rigs, which raises some serious questions about the future of the country’s crypto mining segment.
Importation of Crypto Mining Rigs
Vietnamese firms and individuals have already ceased importing Bitcoin mining equipment in July, according to a report by Viet Nam News. The matter was confirmed by the HCM City Customs Department, which even revealed some data on the volume of previous mining rig imports.
According to the department, there were 3,664 cryptocurrency mining rigs imported from January to June this year. As far as volume is concerned, more than 3,000 rigs were imported by four enterprises alone. The rest of the imports were made by individuals or organizations that do not have import tax codes.
Compared to last year’s volume, the first six month’s 3,664 mining rigs is almost on par with 2017’s imports volume based on a monthly average. According to the department, there was 7,000 cryptocurrency mining equipment imported in 2017, which translates to 3,500 rigs for a six-month period.
Cryptos Banned In Vietnam
Vietnam is one of the few places on earth where it is illegal to use cryptos for transactions. The State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) released a statement last October 30, 2017, which specifically mentioned that using digital currencies as means of payment is prohibited in the country.
Violators caught using illegal means of payment that include cryptos will be fined up to $9,000. In addition, they may even be subject to prosecution. But the announcement then only covered using cryptos as a mode of payment and not mining or mining equipment.
However, a multimillion ICO fraud rocked the country in April, which pushed mining activities under closer scrutiny. According to Fortune, the scam was massive in scale, with 32,000 million victims losing a total of 15 trillion Vietnamese dongs or around $658 million.
As a result of this massive ICO scam, the State Bank of Vietnam approved the proposal of both the Ministry of Finance (MoF) and the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) to ban the import of crypto mining rigs. However, it remains to be seen if the actual crypto mining itself will also be banned in the near future.