Business

Ed Drake

Vietnam’s securities regulator announces industry ban on crypto

Vietnam’s stock market regulator, the State Securities Commission of Vietnam, has announced a ban on ‘cryptocurrency activity’ for companies operating under its watch, according to reports.

The regulator, which is responsible for regulating financial markets in the country, has ‘required’ companies within the industry to avoid “any issuance, transaction or brokerage activities related to cryptocurrencies,” Vietnam News reported.

The ban was circulated around regulated institutions, spelling out the regulator’s hardline approach to crypto-related activities. According to the media report, relevant companies in Vietnam are now de facto banned from taking part in crypto activities: “Under an announcement released early this week, SSC banned public companies, securities companies, fund management companies and securities investment funds from taking part in the activities…and required them to obey legal regulations on anti-money laundering.”

No official announcement confirming the decision has yet been made on the State Securities Commission of Vietnam’s website. However, its investor notice in May urged caution for investors in cryptocurrencies, while recommending financial and investment companies avoid cryptocurrency transactions until a legal framework was in place.

The ban follows on from a direct from the office of the country’s Prime Minister, Nguyen Xuan Phuc, which ordered authorities to crack down on “activities related to Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.” The order was prompted by high profile ICO scams, which stole as much as $660 million from over 32,000 people in Vietnam.

Earlier in the year, new laws were introduced which prohibited cryptocurrency payments in the country, with fines of up to $9,000 for noncompliance. An agreement has also been reached to ban imports of ASIC mining hardware, in a bid to stem the market for crypto mining there.

If confirmed, the latest development would only add to the burden of restrictions on cryptocurrency dealings in the country, effectively preventing both businesses and consumers from legitimately engaging with crypto.

With the securities regulator, the central bank and government ministries coalescing against cryptocurrency, it looks like Vietnam is set to continue to become a less welcoming place for those in the cryptocurrency space.

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