Vietnam officially bans all bitcoin transactions

We are receiving conflicting reports regarding the status of bitcoin in Vietnam. See update at bottom of this article.

It was a strange week for bitcoin: Mt. Gox declared bankruptcy, bitcoin prices stabilized and one United States Senator called for a complete ban on bitcoin. On Thursday, the central bank of Vietnam issued a statement and announced that it has implemented a ban on all bitcoin transactions.

The statement consisted of the Vietnamese central bank prohibiting credit institutions from partaking in bitcoin trading and told citizens not to invest in the digital currency. It did not list the potential punishments for violating the ban, though.

“Transaction by bitcoin is highly anonymous so bitcoin can become a tool for crimes like money laundering, drug trafficking, tax evasion, illegal payment,” the statement said. “The price of bitcoin fluctuates over a short time so investments in bitcoin are risky.”

bitcoinLocal news reports say that access to various popular bitcoin blogs and related websites have been blocked.

Vietnam citizens have been utilizing the virtual currency as an investment tool as well as the country’s Diaspora to transmit $10 billion funds each year, which could increase if the cryptocurrency rises in value and is adopted internationally. Over the past year, numerous Vietnam merchants have announced on their websites that they were accepting bitcoin as a method of payment.

China is another Asian government that has issued strict rules and regulations that have made bitcoin difficult to transact. It prohibited financial institutions from trading the digital currency and many companies had responded by ceasing adopting bitcoin.

Update: Reddit member (pcdinh) claims this information came from a press release issued by Bank of Vietnam and is a warning, not ban.

All, I am a Vietnamese native speaker (my twitter account: Also, I am a member of many local Bitcoin groups in Vietnam. Here is the true story:

  • It is just a warning, not officially written, legal statement. Bank of Vietnam issues a press release which is not a legal document. According to Bank of Vietnam, Bitcoin is not 1. a legal tender 2. legitimate method of payment . Basically the Bank says “I don’t protect you if you list Bitcoin as a payment method in your contract. Use it at your own risk”
  • Bank of Vietnam want to ban financial agencies (only) from trading Bitcoin. However, it is not an official ban. Just a warning.
  • Bank of Vietnam say nothing about individual ownership or trading of Bitcoin

So, Bitcoin in Vietnam is NOT illegal at the moment. It is unregulated.

As a Bitcoin enthusiast, I believe that the Bank wants to do more research on the topic before composing any Bitcoin-related legal document. I will keep you posted on this.

Here is the official link to State Bank of Vietnam press release

If we can find definitive proof this is only a warning and not a ban the article title will be updated to reflect that.

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