According to Hanoi newspaper Việt Nam News, the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV), the country's central bank, has agreed with the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) to temporarily halt the import of cryptocurrency mining hardware.
This announcement follows an official letter from the MoIT requesting SBV coordination on research relating to cryptocurrency management in Vietnam. In the letter, the MoIT also requested that the SBV consider the halt on mining hardware imports.
The MoIT requests stemmed from an earlier directive by the country's deputy prime minister, Trịnh Đình Dũng, that instructed the MoIT, Ministry of Finance (MoF), SBV, and other agencies to study the import of cryptocurrency mining machines into the country.
Following the deputy prime minister's request, in May, the MoF proposed a temporary ban on the hardware. Apparently, it found that the hardware is not on the banned imports list, nor is it subject to specialized handling, and this lack of regulation has allowed businesses to easily import the machines. The MoF believes that to reduce crypto scams – such as Ho Chi Minh City's recent Modern Tech Corp. case wherein the company was accused of fraud greater than 15 trillion Vietnamese dongs (over $654 million as of press) – the country's management authorities need to implement strict controls over the import and use of mining machines.
Vietnam has not had the most welcoming attitude toward cryptocurrency – it is an illegal form of payment in the country. The SBV announced its crypto ban in October 2017, and the measure went into effect on January 1, 2018. According to the Vietnam Law & Legal Forum Magazine, the SBV specifically invoked Article 4.6 of Decree 101 of 2012, which "recognizes only checks, payment orders, collection orders, bank cards, and some other … instruments as lawful means of payment," to justify the ban. Crypto mining itself remains legal in the country.
It is important to note, however, that the SBV has only agreed with the MoIT's proposal. An enforceable regulatory framework is yet to materialize.