VCN- Since beginning of the year to the first half of December 2017, the country imported 2,470 Bitcoin and Litecoin diggers (the automatic data processing machines for exploiting online virtual currency).
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According to an information source of Customs Newspaper, the quantity of online virtual currency diggers was imported via Ho Chi Minh City Customs Department and Ha Noi Customs Department.
In which, 1,310 Bitcoin diggers and 620 Litecoin diggers were imported through Ho Chi Minh City Customs Department, and 190 Bitcoin diggers and 350 Litecoin diggers were imported through Ha Noi Customs Department.
Notably, all the virtual currency diggers were imported from China.
Regarding the management of imported automatic data processing machines Bitcoin and Litecoin (HS: 8471.50.90), the General Department of Vietnam Customs (GDVC) has sent a written request to the ministries and sectors such as the State Bank of Vietnam, Ministry of Information and Communication, and Ministry of Industry and Trade for comments.
Based on their comments, the GDVC has issued guiding documents to local Customs Departments for the management.
Accordingly, the automatic data processing machines are not related to the use of virtual currency as a means of payment and not subject to lists of banned imported goods as stipulated in the Government’s Decree 187/2013/ND-CP.
Recently, the State Bank of Vietnam has issued a press release to confirm that Bitcoin and similar virtual currencies are not legal means of payment in Vietnam. The acts of issuance, supply and use of Bitcoin and other similar virtual currencies are prohibited and will be subject to criminal prosecution under the Penal Code (effective from 1st January 2018).
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Regarding the management of automatic data processing machines Bitcoin and Litecoin, in a document sent to the GDVC, the State Bank of Vietnam has affirmed that the virtual currency in general and Bitcoin and Litecoin in particular, is not a currency and is not a legal means of payment as per provisions of Vietnamese law. The issuance, supply and use of virtual currency in general and Bitcoin and Litecoin in particular (illegal means of payment) as currency or means of payment are prohibited.
According to the State Bank of Vietnam, the automatic data processing machines Bitcoin and Litecoin are not involved in the use of virtual currency as a means of payment, so they do not belong to the management functions and tasks of the State Bank.
By Thai Binh/Ngoc Loan