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Is bitcoin trading prohibited in Vietnam?

VietNamNet Bridge - State management agencies still have not agreed on a way to manage bitcoin and other kinds of digital currencies.
VietNamNet Bridge - State management agencies still have not agreed on a way to manage bitcoin and other kinds of digital currencies.


Phan Vu Hoang from Deloitte Vietnam said at a workshop on blockchain and electronic taxation that state agencies do not understand bitcoin transactions.

He cited a lawsuit filed by the Ben Tre City Taxation Agency against Nguyen Viet Cuong to prove that taxation bodies, people’s courts and the police act differently in the same case.

In the period between 2008 and September 2013, Nguyen Viet Cuong exchanged bitcoins via the internet. Cuong was summoned by the Ben Tre provincial police many times to ask about his exchange transactions.

The agency concluded that Cuong’s business activities were not an offense, but decided to impose administrative punishment. 

In May 2016, the Ben Tre City Taxation Sub-department released Decision No 714 which said Cuong had to pay VND981 million in VAT and VND1.6 billion in personal income tax, or VND2.6 billion in total. Cuong lodged complaints two times about the decision, but the complaint was rejected.

Meanwhile, he said that he did not violate the laws because electronic currency was not recognized as a kind of commodity for trade.

In late September, the Ben Tre provincial People’s Court released the decision requesting to abrogate the decision on collecting tax arrears from Cuong. The court stated that current laws don’t recognize bitcoin as a kind of commodity.

State management agencies still have not agreed on a way to manage bitcoin and other kinds of digital currencies.
The taxation body released a decision on collecting tax arrears in this case. It was  understood that the agency recognizes bitcoin as a kind of commodity. 

Meanwhile, the legal framework on managing the digital currency is still being drafted.

An analyst commented the move by the taxation agency may cause serious consequences, lending a hand to illegal remittances and payments for illegal transactions.

The State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) late last month once again affirmed that bitcoin and other digital currencies are not legal payment instruments in Vietnam. The agency stated that the issuance, supply and use of bitcoin and other digital currencies as payment instruments are prohibited.

It warned that the behavior will bear administrative fines of VND150-200 million, and that from January 1, 2018, issuing, supplying and using illegal payment instruments (including bitcoin and digital currencies) may be subject to criminal prosecution in accordance with the 2015 Criminal Code.

Le Cong Nhuong, a NA Deputy from Binh Dinh, raised a question about bitcoin to SBV Governor Le Minh Hung at the ongoing NA session.

FPT University wants to collect tuition from foreign students in bitcoin and Coc Coc Software wants to attract investment from Germany in the currency.



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