Thursday, July 12, 2018

Vietnamese government fines illegal Bitcoin trading site

The firm claimed to have a license to trade the cryptocurrency, but was hit by a $1,750 fine.
Vietnam's information ministry has fined a company that claimed to be the first website to be certified to exchange bitcoin in Vietnam for illegal social networking and setting up an illegal site.

Bitcoin Vietnam, which is based in District 4, Ho Chi Minh City, received a VND40 million ($1,750) penalty from the Vietnam Radio, Television and Electronic Information Department under the Ministry of Information and Communications.

Nguyen Tran Bao Phuong, the legal representative for Bitcoin Vietnam, said they were looking into the charges.

The company is in a transition period, so its business registration code had been revoked before the decision was made, she said .

“Bitcoin Vietnam is a cryptocurrency exchange. We do not yet have a license to offer intermediate services, but we are not operating illegally. The company is closely following any new regulations about Bitcoin, and is willing to comply with any new law,” Phuong said.

The company opened in 2013 and is certified to buy and sell Bitcoin, according the company’s website.

However, in a recent interview with VnExpress, a representative admitted that the company's license is only for “financial advisory” purposes.

Over the last four years, the company has launched a number of websites such as bitcoin.vn and vbtc.vn.

The State Bank of Vietnam does not recognise virtual currencies as a legal form of payment, and distribution or use of digital currencies is not protected by law.