Vietnam launches investigation into Pi cryptocurrency

By Bao Lam, Pham Chieu   June 30, 2023 | 06:38 am PT
Vietnam launches investigation into Pi cryptocurrency
An offline event of those involved with the Pi cryptocurrency in Bac Ninh Province in northern Vietnam. Photo by VnExpress/Quang Tuoi
Authorities in Vietnam are investigating activities involving the cryptocurrency Pi, announced the Department of Cybersecurity and High-Tech Crime Prevention Friday.

"The operations of cryptocurrency models like Pi have been exceedingly complex and unmanaged recently," said department head Le Xuan Minh at a meeting in Hanoi. "There is no other business activity that can generate such high levels of income online."

There have been signs of people being coerced by cryptocurrency promoters into business models resembling multi-marketing models, Minh said, adding that police forces in multiple localities are especially investigating activities regarding the Pi cryptocurrency.

Authorities have warned people against investing in cryptocurrency models with abnormally high profit margins, or those employing multi-level marketing models.

"Such activities harbor many risks," Minh said.

The Pi Network came into existence in 2019 and underwent a popularity boom in Vietnam in 2021. The cryptocurrency has been said to lack the level of transparency of a blockchain project, and may be utilized for nefarious purposes like fraud or data collection.

A blockchain expert in HCMC said many people still believe in Pi as they believe they do not lose anything by joining it. However, they do risk having their personal data stolen.

Cryptocurrencies are not legal tender in Vietnam, and issuing, trading or using one for payment can result in a fine of up to VND100 million (US$4,240).

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