Vietnam has become the latest government to rule that Bitcoin is not a legal currency and therefore isn’t lawfully recognized or protected, warning its citizens not to use or invest in the virtual currency, the Associated Press reports.
In a statement, Vietnam’s central bank notes that there has been an increase in Bitcoin activity recently. In response to that, it says Bitcoin is harmful as it is linked to criminal activities such as money laundering, drug trafficking and tax evasion among others. It also says that Bitcoin trading poses a lot of risks — citing the fluctuation in its value ever since exchange Mt. Gox went offline amid insolvency rumors. Due to the volatility of Bitcoin, Vietnam’s central bank notes that it could potentially be damaging for investors as well.
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The bank also states that financial institutions are not allowed to use Bitcoins when providing services — but didn’t lay out specific regulations for Internet users — which suggests that Vietnam could allow Bitcoin to continue existing even as it warns of the risks, though users won’t be able to receive any legal backing even after encountering issues such as fraud.
➤ Vietnam Says Bitcoin Transactions Are Illegal [Associated Press]