Vietnam Bitcoin adopters are facing Criminal Prosecution and the Fines are up to $9,000

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Vietnam’s central bank has implemented laws that ban the issuance and usage of bitcoin as legal tender in the country.

The State Bank of Vietnam (SBV), Vietnam’s central bank, has banned bitcoin as a legal means of payment after refusing to include the cryptocurrency among the non-cash payments methods approved by the authority.

The reports note the recently updated legal frameworks for payment instruments that recognize checks, payment orders and bank cards (credit and debit)  as non-cash payments didn’t include the cryptocurrencies. As a result, Bitcoin is seen by the law as an illegal payment instrument by default.

The central bank’s public notice also mentioned the very real idea of prosecuting adopters who engage in issuing, providing or using bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.  The threat of prosecution is now a reality.

 The Central Bank wrote:

“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. in accordance with the provisions of clause 1 (h) of Article 206 of the Penal Code 2015 (as amended and supplemented in 2017).”

The bank added:

“The issuance, supply, use of bitcoin and other similar virtual currency as a means of payment is prohibited in Vietnam.”

Before prosecution, investors are also subject to a fine between VND 150 million and 200 million [approx. $8,900].

Few thought that the central bank will implement its opposed ban, especially after Vietnamese prime minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc announced the plan of legalizing bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies in August 2017.