The Vietnam State Securities Commission has responded to a directive from the Prime Minister to “strengthen” the management of cryptocurrencies earlier this year. It has issued a crypto ban as far as transactions are concerned.
In its response, the SSC couldn’t have taken Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc’s directive any more seriously. It has “strengthened management” to the point that it has told businesses there “not to get involved” with anything to do with cryptocurrencies. And you don’t get much stronger than that.
The SSC hasn’t left any boxes unchecked. It’s included as crypto transactions that are now out of bounds any “issuance, brokerage or transactions related to crypto”. And it’s pointed the instruction not to engage in dealings with these activities at public companies, securities companies and investment funds, as well as fund management companies.
SSC Crypto Ban Follows Lead of State Bank
The SSC’s stand doesn’t come as that much of a surprise, it’s basically following the precedent set by State Bank of Vietnam in April this year. The bank banned crypto-related transactions by all commercial banks and providers of intermediary payment services.
The country’s attitude regarding cryptocurrency lies in concern about money-laundering. Instructions to adhere to existing anti-money laundering regulations were attached to the no-go order regarding involvement with cryptocurrencies. And money-laundering as well as trade fraud, funding of terrorism and tax evasion were also mentioned in the State Bank’s ban as a warning that cryptocurrencies increased the risk.
Mining Machinery Imports Also a No-No
To sweep the Vietnam crypto field clean, importing cryptocurrency mining machines has also been suspended following agreements with the Trade, Industry and Finance ministries of the Southeast Asian country.
Vietnam was not always anti-crypto, but crypto fans and projects have had clashes on-and-off with banks and regulators ever since it started activities there in 2014. And all have been based around the illegal possibilities government has seen as inherent in the coins.
At times, businesses have accepted coins as payments, and trading in crypto has done well. But then, regulators’ nightmares came true. An alleged VNĐ15 trillion crypto fraud did more than 30 000 Vietnamese out of their money in Ho Chi Minh City. This, and the protests outside the offices of those who marketed the fraudulent tokens, is believed to have lead to the Prime Minister’s directive in April.