Vietnam: Crypto Mining Firm CEO Allegedly Flees With $35 Mln in Investor, Company Funds

The CEO of Vietnamese cryptocurrency mining firm Sky Mining has reportedly disappeared with investor and company funds worth an alleged $35 million, local media outlet VNExpress reported July 29.

According to VNExpress, Sky Mining CEO Le Minh Tam disappeared a week ago, appearing to organize a cleanout of company assets.

VNExpress notes that Sky Mining CEO Tam — although he has not been found in person —

apologized for “everything” to investors in a Facebook post on Wednesday, explaining that the company’s profitability had fallen with the market’s volatility.

Tam told investors to go to the company office in order to regain their capital, after which he would declare bankruptcy. However, investors found that Sky Mining’s Ho Chi Minh City headquarters building is closed and all of the signage has been removed, VNExpress writes.

The firm’s 600 miners housed in a separate facility in a neighboring district were also discovered to have been taken away by people “claiming to be maintenance workers.”

Le Minh Hieu, deputy chairman of Sky Mining, has already formed a “board” dedicated to assisting investors who lost money, as well as assessing the extent of the losses and remaining asset value.

Hieu noted that he was not able to give details about the company’s assets, as Tam was directly in charge of the mining rigs, but investors estimate the loss to be around $35 million, VNExpress reports.

Hieu told VNExpress that he believes Tam left for the U.S., adding,

“[The board] has reported this to the police and showed evidence that we are not guilty. We are victims too.”

Of those affected, twenty investors have also filed a complaint with local police, the publication adds.

The debacle comes three months after the collapse of a major ponzi scheme engulfed Vietnamese consumers who invested in two pseudo-Initial Coin Offerings (ICO). A reported 32,000 people lost money after company officials absconded, allegedly stealing as much as $660 million.

Last week, authorities in Vietnam banned local companies from engaging in activities related to cryptocurrencies. Earlier in July, the country’s central bank also voiced support for a ban on imports associated with cryptocurrency mining.

Article First Published here

Vietnam's Securities Regulator Warns Industry to Avoid Crypto Activities

Vietnam’s securities regulator has warned industry companies and funds in the country to avoid activities related to cryptocurrencies.

In an announcement this week, Viet Nam News reported Wednesday, the State Securities Commission (SSC) said firms should avoid issuance, transactions or brokerage of cryptos, adding that they must observe laws on money laundering.

The warning relates to an April 2018 Prime Minister’s Directive on strengthening the management of activities related to cryptocurrencies. Vietnam banned the use of cryptos in payments in October 2017, as CoinDesk reported, despite suggestions earlier that year that the prime minister might legally recognize bitcoin for that purpose.

Back in April, the country’s central bank, the State Bank of Vietnam, also banned commercial banks and payment service providers from making transactions with cryptocurrencies, arguing that such activities could increase the risk of money laundering, terrorism financing and tax evasion, Viet Nam News states.

In a further move aimed to restrict crypo activities in the country, the central bank last week supported a move to block, at least temporarily, the import of mining devices into the country.

The suspension was initially proposed by the Ministry of Industry and Trade in June, which argued that, since cryptocurrency miners are not on the list of prohibited imports, it has become difficult for local authorities to enforce current restrictions on cryptocurrencies.

Ho Chi Minh City image via Shutterstock

The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.

This article is intended as a news item to inform our readers of various events and developments that affect, or that might in the future affect, the value of the cryptocurrency described above. The information contained herein is not intended to provide, and it does not provide, sufficient information to form the basis for an investment decision, and you should not rely on this information for that purpose. The information presented herein is accurate only as of its date, and it was not prepared by a research analyst or other investment professional. You should seek additional information regarding the merits and risks of investing in any cryptocurrency before deciding to purchase or sell any such instruments.

Article First Published here

Vietnam’s Securities Watchdog Bans Industry from Cryptocurrency Activity: Report


The State Securities Commission of Vietnam (SSC), the country’s stock market watchdog, has reportedly forbidden industry firms from engaging in cryptocurrency-related activities.

Vietnam’s official state news agency is reporting that the country’s securities markets watchdog has ‘required’ the industry to not partake in “any issuance, transaction or brokerage activities related to cryptocurrencies” in a circular to all relevant institutions.

‘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,” an excerpt from the news report added…’and required them to obey legal regulations on anti-money laundering.”

At press time, the announcement enforcing a ban of cryptocurrency-related activities among companies within the sector could not be found on the SSC’s official website. The most-recent related investor notice was published on May 2, 2018, with the regulator warning investors to be cautious of investing in cryptocurrencies. The notice also urged industry firms including brokerages and asset managers to refrain from any cryptocurrency transactions until a legal framework is released.

According to the report, the SCC explains that its ban is in response to a directive [PDF] by the office of Nguyen Xuan Phuc, Vietnam’s Prime Minister on April 11 ordering several ministries, law enforcement authorities and the country’s central bank to strengthen the management of “activities related to bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.”

That particular directive was a direct consequence of an unprecedented nationwide scam involving two fraudulent initial coin offerings (ICOs) that swindled 32,000 Vietnamese citizens out of a massive $660 million.

At the turn of 2018, a new legal framework came into effect outlawing cryptocurrency’s usage for payments in Vietnam. The prohibitive stance also sees adopters facing criminal prosecution with fines up to $9,000.

Last week, the State Bank of Vietnam, the country’s central bank, agreed with a government ministry’s proposal to suspend imports of Application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) cryptocurrency mining equipment.

Featured image from Shutterstock.

Follow us on Telegram or subscribe to our newsletter here.
• Join CCN’s crypto community for $9.99 per month, click here.
• Want exclusive analysis and crypto insights from Hacked.com? Click here.
• Open Positions at CCN: Full Time and Part Time Journalists Wanted.

Advertisement


Article First Published here

Vietnam’s Central Bank Thinks Cryptocurrency Miners Should Be Banned

Regulation

According to regional reports, the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) has agreed with a proposal to ban imported cryptocurrency mining machines in order to keep the digital currency economy tethered tightly to the government’s regulatory frameworks. The proposal was introduced by the country’s Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) after the SBV announced that cryptocurrency use within Vietnam was not a “lawful means of payment” this past October.

Also read: Bitcoin Vietnam Faces Losing its Domain from Government

The State Bank of Vietnam Agrees Cryptocurrency Miners Should be Banned

Vietnam's Central Bank Thinks Cryptocurrency Miners Should be BannedLately, Vietnam’s government and regulatory bodies haven’t been too friendly towards the cryptocurrency industry. Last October the country’s central bank detailed in a letter to the public that bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies were not a “lawful means of payment.” Furthermore, if Vietnam residents decided to use “bitcoin and other similar virtual currency they may be subject to prosecution.” Then, this past June, news.Bitcoin.com reported on Vietnam’s Ministry of Finance initiating the idea that the country’s governing authorities should ban cryptocurrency mining device imports.

Now the local Việt Nam News reports that the central bank agrees with a proposal written by the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) which calls for the banning of these mining machines. Vietnam’s MoIT and the SBV believe that letting these devices come into the country makes it harder for the government to regulate bitcoin and other virtual currencies. Many Vietnamese officials have been deliberating on how to handle the cryptocurrency industry and in April the country’s Prime Minister, Nguyễn Xuân Phúc, signed an initiative to tighten regulatory guidelines.

Crypto-Fraud Sparked the Regulatory Crackdown

Vietnam's Central Bank Thinks Cryptocurrency Miners Should be BannedThe Ministry of Finance and MoIT have explained the reason for the current regulatory proposals towards mining rigs is because they want to protect Vietnamese consumers from scams in the future. All of the latest regulatory announcements towards cryptos have followed the recent Vietnamese law enforcement bust that dealt with the largest cryptocurrency fraud case that claimed more than 32,000 victims. The officials think that banning cryptocurrency mining machine imports will further help protect local consumers until virtual currency regulations are more solidified.

Việt Nam News also details that the General Department of Customs estimates that the country has imported 15,600 mining devices from 2017 to April 2018. The state administration of customs says that a great majority of machines were imported to areas such as Đà Nẵng, Ho Chi Minh City, and Hà Nội.

What do you think about Vietnam’s state administrations attempting to ban cryptocurrency miners in the country? Let us know your thoughts on this subject in the comment section below.


Images via Shutterstock, Central Bank photo taken by Xita, and Pixabay. 


Want to see all 500 cryptocurrency market caps in real-time? We got a destination for that called — Satoshi Pulse. 

Article First Published here

Vietnam’s Central Bank Approves Call to Suspend Import of Cryptocurrency Miners


Vietnam is closing in on a sweeping move to – temporarily – ban the import of ASIC cryptocurrency mining equipment after the central bank approved the proposed plan.

The State Bank of Vietnam (SBV), the country’s central bank, is in agreement with a government ministry’s proposal to suspend imports of cryptocurrency miners, local publication Vietnam News reported on Thursday.

As reported previously, the proposed blanket ban was first made by Vietnam’s Ministry of Finance (MoF) last month and was subsequently brought forward by the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) in an official letter. At the time, the MoF highlighted the absence of crypto mining hardware from the list of goods banned from importation, claiming it was difficult to place any restrictions on crypto activity.

The increased scrutiny by Vietnamese authorities into the cryptocurrency sector is seemingly a direct consequence of a nationwide ICO-related fraud that allegedly conned 32,000 domestic investors out of an estimated $660 million.

The severity of the fallout led to Vietnam’s prime minister ordering six government ministries, including the MoF, and the central bank to investigate the alleged scam. Under its mandate, the MoF contended ‘it requires State management agencies to take strict control measures with the import and use of this [crypto mining] commodity’, according to the report. As a result, the MoF proposed the temporary suspension to ban the import of cryptocurrency miners.

According to figures from Vietnam Customs, over 9,300 application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) devices were imported into Vietnam in 2017. As of April 2018, Vietnamese nationals had already imported 6,300 rigs, predominantly into Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi, according to a local report.

Vietnam was initially thought to be preparing legislation to legalize cryptocurrencies in mid-2017. This did not come to pass, however.

Instead, the central bank moved to outlaw cryptocurrencies for payments by refusing to include it into the default list of approved non-cash payment methods in October 2017. Those laws came into effect at the turn of 2018, wherein adopters of cryptocurrencies are also under the threat of prosecution and fines between VND 150 million and 200 million [approx. $8,900].

ASIC miner image from Shutterstock.

Follow us on Telegram or subscribe to our newsletter here.
• Join CCN’s crypto community for $9.99 per month, click here.
• Want exclusive analysis and crypto insights from Hacked.com? Click here.
• Open Positions at CCN: Full Time and Part Time Journalists Wanted.

Advertisement


Article First Published here

The State Bank of Vietnam Suspends Import of Crypto Mining Hardware

The Vietnamese central bank, the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) announced it will suspend the import of cryptocurrency mining hardware, according to local news agency Viet Nam News July 19.

The move followed an official request from the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT), which suggested a temporary ban of imports of crypto mining machines, the volume of which reportedly amounted to 15,600 units from 2017 to April 2018. Most of the units were imported through Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, and Da Nang.

Deputy Prime Minister Trinh Dinh Dung had previously directed the MoIT, the SBV, and the Ministry of Finance (MoF), to study the import of cryptocurrency miners based on current regulations, and provide guidance on their management.

According to Viet Nam News, the suspension is supposed to improve the management of currency flows in Vietnam, since the use of crypto mining equipment in the country makes it more complicated. The temporary ban also intends to prevent the use of cryptocurrency as an alternative means of payment outside of the official currency, which was declared illegal in late 2017.

Vietnam’s Ministry of Finance (MoF) proposed a temporary temporary ban on crypto mining hardware imports in early June, citing the “very difficult” process of regulating newly mined digital currencies. By proposing so, the MoF aims to protect citizens from crypto scams, following an alleged $660 million scam in April. The scam involved two Initial Coin Offering (ICO) projects headed by a Vietnam-based outfit.

In May, the Hanoi Department of Industry and Trade prohibited institutions and retail entrepreneurs in the e-commerce field from using Bitcoin (BTC) and other cryptocurrencies to carry out online transactions.

Article First Published here

Vietnam Inches Closer to Suspending Imports of Cryptocurrency Miners

Vietnam has moved a step closer to halting cryptocurrency miner imports, a local new source reported on Thursday.

According to Viet Nam News, State Bank of Vietnam (SBV), the country’s central bank, has now agreed to a proposed plan to halt imports of the specialized mining devices since the country has already banned the use of cryptocurrency as a payment method.

The decision is a response to a proposal from the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) last month.

The ministry said at the time that since cryptocurrency miners are currently not on the list of prohibited imports, it has become difficult for local authorities to enforce the current restrictions on cryptocurrencies.

The MoIT proposal also followed a request from the Ministry of Finance in May that argued for a temporary suspension, given a recent crackdown by local authorities’ over an alleged $660 million cryptocurrency fraud.

According to a news report from Xinhua last month, Vietnam imported more than 6,300 application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) devices – used to mine cryptocurrencies like bitcoin – in the first four months of 2018. And, last year, the country saw over 9,300 crypto miners enter the country.

Most of the imports went to Ho Chi Minh City and the national capital Hanoi, the report added, citing data from the General Department of Vietnam Customs.

Vietnam port image via Shutterstock

The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.

Article First Published here