In mid-April, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc urged the Vietnamese government and financial bodies to toughen the “management of activities related to Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies,” warning that the crypto investment space is “evolving in a more complicated manner.”
The sequel to this directive came today when, in a not-so-surprising move, the State Securities Commission of Vietnam (SSC) has required relevant companies and funds not to engage in any issuance, transaction or brokerage activities related to cryptocurrencies. The measure, referred to by local media as a ban, affects public companies, securities companies, fund management firms and securities investment funds.
The news broke out from Vietnamese media outlets while official SSC website is still silent about this directive. The last announcement being a notification, warning investors to be cautious for investing in companies operated in the field of financial technology (Fintech) including cryptocurrency, mobilizing capital via issuance of cryptocurrency (ICO) and other products such as crowdfunding and peer-to-peer lending.
This regulation can be a direct result to Pincoin episode, where alleged fraudulent Initial Coin Offerings (ICO’s) conned 32,000 investors out of a staggering $660 million. The ponzi-schemed company first ran the Pincoin ICO, promising constant returns to investors, and then launched another token, iFan. Pincoin investors first received cash from their investment and then the team began paying out rewards to Pincoin investors in iFan tokens before their disappearance.
Surprisingly, the company’s website remains online along with iFan’s.