Hanoi has banned the use of cryptocurrency in e-Commerce

The Department of industry and trade of Hanoi, capital of Vietnam, has banned organizations and individuals involved in electronic Commerce to accept bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. This step is followed by a Directive signed by Prime Minister of the country and aimed at tighter regulation of cryptocurrencies.

The Department announced on Saturday on sent document No. 1638/SCT-QLTM «organizations and individuals directly or indirectly involved in e-Commerce in Hanoi», indicating that they were not using bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies for payments. The Department noted that a violation of this rule will be prosecuted according to the law:

«The Department of industry and trade requires organizations and individuals that are directly or indirectly involved in e-Commerce in Hanoi, strictly abide by the above rules and do not use bitcoin and other virtual currencies for payment of online shopping and online services, as it violates the laws of Vietnam».

Referring to the government’s decree No. 101/2012/ND-CP on non-cash payment instruments, the document States: «bitcoin and other similar virtual currencies are not legal tender in Vietnam. Production, supply and use of bitcoin and similar virtual currency use in Vietnam». Violators of this Ordinance face a fine of around 6 600-8 800 dollars.

Last week Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc (Nguyễn Xuân Phúc) signed a Directive on strengthening control over the activities related to bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. This step was followed by news about the «biggest digital fraud in the country’s history» — about 32,000 Vietnamese were cheated by the fraudsters in total lost 658 million dollars. Currently, police are investigating the case.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of justice, the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) and related agencies are working on a regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies. According to Customs Department of Ho Chi Minh city, the number of devices for mining bitcoins, legally imported into the country increased sharply last year, prompting the Department to propose a ban on their import. Earlier this year, the customs service found that in the first three weeks of January, the country imported up to 8000 devices for mining.

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