The former deputy head of Vietnam’s Criminal Police Department, Vu Hoang Kien, has stated that campaigns to raise money for cryptocurrency businesses are illegal in the country.

Kien warned Vietnamese citizens to stay vigilant and not be lured in by any form of cryptocurrency investment schemes, no matter how high the returns. 

Apart from the risk of investing in such schemes, he further emphasized that cryptocurrency investments and payments made using virtual currencies are not legally recognized in the country. Hence, investing in cryptos or using them will also mean breaking Vietnamese laws.

Despite warnings, crypto investments have continued within the country, said Nguyen Nam Hao of the Police Department for Corruption, Smuggling and Economic Crimes. He further added that to reduce fraud and minimize other negative impacts of cryptocurrencies, Vietnam needs more stringent and specific regulations.

Vietnam’s crypto crackdown

As Cointelegraph reported in August 2017, Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc had ordered the central bank of Vietnam and the Ministry of Finance to review virtual currencies and frame a legal framework to regulate them.

The review, however, did not turn out in the favor of cryptocurrencies. Only the next month, the central bank declared the use of Bitcoin (BTC) and other cryptocurrencies illegal in the country. In April 2018, cryptocurrencies were officially outlawed as a means of payment for goods and services.

Recently, Vietnam’s Ministry of Finance was reported to be planning to set up a nine-member cryptocurrency research group focused on speculating the crypto and digital assets space and proposing relevant policies to regulate the industry.