Vietnam eyes cryptocurrency crackdown in wake of scam
Hanoi: Vietnam has vowed to tighten regulations on cryptocurrencies as authorities investigate an alleged multi-million-dollar fraud in the country, where digital units are traded in a shadowy and unregulated market.
Paying with cryptocurrencies is illegal in Vietnam, where they are not recognised as a legitimate tender by the central bank.
However there are currently no laws explicitly banning the possession of assets such as Bitcoin and Ethereum.
A directive signed by Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc yesterday called for new rules to "strengthen the management of activities related to cryptocurrencies".
It comes after a Vietnam company, Modern Tech Jsc, was accused of scamming USD 660 million from tens of thousands of people who bought iFan and Pincoin cryptocurrencies, according to state media.
The Ho Chi Minh City-based company promised to repay clients monthly interest - and more if they could attract other customers - but has been slow to pay them back as the value of iFan and Pincoin slumps, VNExpress reported.
City authorities have asked police to investigate.