The use of Bitcoin as a form of payment has been banned in Vietnam, according to Monday (Oct. 30) ZDNet reports. The country’s state bank ruled that all cryptocurrency, not just Bitcoin, was an invalid form of payment.
The financial authority released a statement last week declaring cryptocurrency an illegal, non-cash payment method. Forms of non-cash payment that are legal in the country include checks, payment orders and bank cards, but cryptocurrency is now considered an “illegal means of payment,” the ZDNet reports said.
“As of January 1, 2018, the act of issuing, using or using illegal means of payment [including Bitcoin and other similar virtual currency] may be subject to prosecution,” reads the country’s official statement.
Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has issued orders to develop legal structures to manage cryptocurrency, ZDNet noted. These changes are likely a result of the ban orders. The government of Vietnam will not allow payments to be made in cryptocurrency, and issuing, exchanging or using digital currency is now against the law, according to the news article.
In addition, those caught using the digital currency in Vietnam may be subject to fines valued between 150 million and 200 million VND, roughly $6,000 to $9,000 USD, ZDNet said. In fact, the article suggested Vietnam may be following China’s example, as China banned initial coin offerings (ICOs) in September for “disrupting financial order.”
In cryptocurrency and Bitcoin news from elsewhere in the world, ZDNet reported the Bank Indonesia governor Agus Martowardojo also indicated cryptocurrency was an invalid means of payment in Indonesia. According to a statement from Martowardojo, users of cryptocurrency “would be dealt with.” The new regulations do not restrict cryptocurrency mining or the use of blockchain technology within Indonesia, however.
Despite bans in various countries, the price of Bitcoin reached $6,300 today (Oct. 31), per reports from CNBC. Though it holds associations with digital crime and repeated warnings from traditional financial institutions about the risks of investing in the digital currency, the market cap of Bitcoin has officially exceeded $100 billion.