Local news reported Thursday that Vietnam’s Central Bank has agreed to suspend the import of crypto mining devices.
The decision comes after a proposal from the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) to suspend the import of cryptocurrency miners in a move to better enforce restrictions on digital currencies.
As they were previously absent from the list of prohibited imports, it had been difficult to enforce the country-wide ban on using crypto as payment.
According to a report from Xinhua in June, Vietnam imported over 6,300 crypto mining devices in the first four months of 2018 while more than 9,300 rigs entered the country in 2017.
Government departments such as the Ministry of Finance (MoF) were instructed earlier this year to consider the legal regulations and management of cryptocurrency mining machines.
According to Viet Nam News, the MoF’s findings concurred with the MoIT suggestion that unrestricted imports of crypto mining devices were allowing people to use cryptocurrency as a means of payment, which has been illegal in Vietnam since late last year.
It is possible that Vietnam’s Ministry of Finance is looking at the bigger picture here; restrictions on mined digital currencies could help to combat ICO scams, which in Vietnam allegedly took investors for $660 million earlier this year.
The Ho Chi Minh City-based startup, Modern Tech, went dark after acting as guarantor to two cryptocurrencies which took money from 32,000 investors following an aggressive campaign of conferences up and down the country.
While regulation is often seen to negatively impact cryptocurrency as a whole, this could, in fact, be a force for good. Media coverage of the reported ICO scams was extensive and followed on with protests outside Modern Tech’s absconded headquarters.
It is possible that this means confidence in crypto is at an all-time low in Vietnam, and so regulation may be what is needed for it to have a future in the burgeoning south-east Asian economy.
Perhaps it is best to keep in mind that regulation is not the enemy of cryptocurrencies. Misunderstanding and ignorance from our lawmakers is a far bigger threat to widespread adoption—let us hope that most governments continue to reserve judgment, for now.
Callum reports on developments in the cryptocurrency world and offers a take on the future of the blockchain. Can often be found with a cup of tea reading an altcoin whitepaper.