Vietnam’s Ministry of Finance (MoF) has proposed a temporary blanket ban on crypto mining hardware imports, local news outlet VN Express reports today, June 5.
The MoF reportedly raised the proposal on Monday, alleging that crypto mining hardware can be used to launch new digital currencies that are “very difficult to regulate.”
VN Express cites recent figures from the Ministry showing that in the first four months of 2018 alone, over 6,300 cryptocurrency mining rigs have already been imported into the country. Compared with 2017’s total of 9,300 rigs, the year’s surge was noted by Vietnamese Customs, The Hanoi Times further reports.
Using cryptocurrencies as a form of payment was first declared illegal in Vietnam in late 2017, with legislation taking effect in the first quarter of 2018.
The government’s already stringent stance is toughening further still following reports this April of an alleged $660 mln scam involving two Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs), said to have been headed by a Vietnam-based outfit.
The allegations claim that 32,000 investors were swindled out of 15 trln dong (about $658 mln) through sales of two ECR-20-standard tokens, Ifan and Pincoin. If proven true, the scam would be the largest crypto fraud to date.
In mid-April, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc urged the Vietnamese government and financial bodies to toughen the "management of activities related to Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies," warning that the crypto investment space is “evolving in a more complicated manner.”