Bitcoins and other virtual currency units are not legal currencies and cannot be used as lawful payment instruments in Vietnam, the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) officially stated on February 27. It also outlawed all bitcoin transactions in the country.
Not issued by any government or financial institution, bitcoins are created and used in the Internet-connected computer networks for payments, commodity transactions or property investments without supervision and intervention of governments or financial institutions, and are therefore vulnerable to abuse for criminal transactions and risk of market fluctuations and cyber attacks.
The SBV pointed out that while not protected by law, bitcoins could become an instrument for crimes such as money laundering, drug trafficking and tax evasion. It also stated that credit institutions were not permitted to use bitcoins and similar digital (virtual) currencies when providing services to customers.
It warned investors not to hold or invest in a currency that is neither supervised by domestic state management agencies nor legally accepted in many nations, including France, Russia, China, Norway, Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia.
Under Article 17 of the 2010 SBV Law, the SBV is the only issuer of paper banknotes and coins of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam. So, any disputes arising from transactions in bitcoins, like purchase of virtual assets in the Internet, cannot be lawfully settled by competent authorities.