Vietnam To Regulate Digital Currencies / new Bitcoin ATMsby Fintechnews Singapore December 19, 2016
Vietnam is working on a regulatory framework for virtual properties, electronic money and virtual currencies like bitcoin amid concerns of their use in illegal activities.
A report by local media outlet VNEconomy says that the government is looking to take measures to regulate virtual currency transactions in order to address risks related to money laundering and tax evasion. The government says that it is necessary to clarify the legal status of virtual currencies and minimize risks for consumers and for the domestic currency market.
The initiative seeks to build a comprehensive legal framework for virtual property, electronic money and virtual currencies in Vietnam and clearly define the position and responsibilities of public agencies.
The government has assigned the task to the Ministry of Justice in collaboration with the State Bank, the Ministry of Information and Communications, the Ministry of Industry and Trade and other governmental entities. The legal framework is due for December 2017.
Vietnam would join the United States, France, Japan, Canada, and others, that have already built legal frameworks and policies to manage business operations that deal with digital currencies.
Last month, the Russian government published a document that defined bitcoin and other forms of digital currencies as foreign currencies, implying that operations involving digital currencies will not be subjected to financial reporting.
The move comes at a time when a growing number of bitcoin pyramid schemes promising investors absurd returns are going bust. One of them, operating under the domain “fxmt4.us,” promised as much as 144% in returns per month, reported Thanh Nien. An investigation by local police revealed a total of 22 billion Vietnamese Dong (approximately US$1 million) worth of bitcoins being deposited onto the platform. Hundreds of people, several who registered multiple accounts, lost their investments.
New Bitcoin ATMs for Saigon
The announcement coincides with the news that EasyBit and Bitcoin Vietnam are preparing to install three additional bitcoin ATM machines (BTMs) in Vietnam. The first BTM is already operating in Ho Chi Minh City, located at Italiani’s Pizza, on Lý Tự Trọng street, district 1.
A bitcoin ATM is an Internet machine that allows a person to exchange bitcoins and cash. Some bitcoin ATMs offer bi-directional functionality, enabling both the purchase of bitcoins as well as the redemption of bitcoins for cash. This is the case for the machines that are being installed in Vietnam.
The BTMs are an initiative of EasyBit, a BTM company operating nearly 50 machines in over 10 countries. Vietnamese bitcoin startup Bitcoin Vietnam will be running the machines.
Based in Ho Chi Minh City, Bitcoin Vietnam operates a bitcoin broker exchange and a remittance platform called Cash2VN.com. The same team is also behind VBTC.vn, a bitcoin trading platform.
Featured image by BTC Keychain via Flickr.