Vietnam importing bitcoin diggers in large numbers

By Anh Tu   June 13, 2018 | 06:04 pm PT
Vietnam importing bitcoin diggers in large numbers
Bitcoin tokens are displayed in this picture illustration taken by Reuters/Benoit Tessier
Cryptocurrency is illegal in the country, but 6,400 mining systems have been imported in the first four months of the year.

It is illegal to use cryptocurrency in Vietnam, but that has not stopped the import of large numbers of bitcoin diggers.

From the beginning of this year until June 10, 3,664 mining systems were shipped to Ho Chi Minh City, according to the municipal Customs Department.

Of these, over 3,000 systems were purchased by four companies, with one of them, just eight months old, getting almost 2,300, the department said.

A total of 6,400 cryptocurrency mining systems have been imported in the first four months of the year.

The Ministry of Finance recently proposed that the government bans the import of these machines, saying that the rigs were being used to try and create new currencies and forms of payment that were difficult to regulate.

It referred to an alleged fraud in April, when dozens of people descended on the headquarters of Vietnamese IT firm Modern Tech in Ho Chi Minh City demanding refunds from the company for the cryptocurrencies it claimed to represent.

Investors said this company, which has only 9 staff members, scammed VND15 trillion ($650 million) from them in a cryptocurrency ponzi scheme.

As legislators debated the legal framework of Bitcoin in a National Assembly session on June 6, deputy Prime Minister Vuong Dinh Hue called for more research on this new form of currency.

“The Government is directing the Ministry of Justice and the State Bank of Vietnam to research the experience of other countries in handling Bitcoin so we can come up with an appropriate policy,” the deputy PM said.

Vietnam imported over 9,300 cryptocurrency diggers last year, which were mostly distributed in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City and Da Nang.  

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