The Daily: Huobi OTC to Support Dồng, Dymon Asia Backs Crypto Platform

The Daily: Huobi OTC to Support Dồng, Dymon Asia Backs Crypto Platform

In today’s edition of Bitcoin in Brief, we cover the addition of Vietnamese đồng fiat to Huobi OTC, venture capital fund Dymon Asia backing a new institutional crypto platform, and Paxful donations supporting the building of a second school in Rwanda.

Also Read: US Government to “Aggressively Pursue” Unregulated Services Around the World

Huobi OTC to Support Dồng

The Daily: Huobi OTC to Support Dồng, Dymon Asia Backs Crypto PlatformHuobi, the Singapore-headquartered trading venue, has announced its plan to support Vietnamese đồng transactions on its proprietary peer-to-peer trading platform, Huobi OTC. This means that Vietnamese traders can now use Huobi’s OTC trading platform to exchange between crypto and fiat currencies.

The OTC service is meant to act as an intermediary that reduces the risk of fraudulent activity for traders in countries where regulatory guidelines have not yet been established. With the addition of the Vietnamese đồng, Huobi’s OTC trading platform now supports 18 fiat currencies including CNY, USD, SGD, INR, CAD, AUD, KRW, CHF, TWD, RUB, GBP, HKD, NGN, EUR, IDR, PHP and KHR.

Dymon Asia Backs Crypto Platform

Dymon Asia Venture Capital Fund has announced it is backing LXDX, a cryptocurrency trading platform that offers technology services for exchanges, including software for public retail exchanges and private exchanges for institutional block trading. Dymon Asia Ventures is the venture capital arm of Dymon Asia Capital, an alternative investment manager headquartered in Singapore with approximately US$5 billion under management. The fund’s support is meant to help LXDX make the cryptocurrency space more accessible to investment banks and hedge funds.

CEO Joshua Greenwald said: “We built LXDX in response to the aversion conventional finance institutions have had to the cryptocurrency space. Joining forces with Dymon allows our team, with decades of trading experience, to bring the qualities of traditional lit and dark exchanges to these new markets.” Christiaan Kaptein of Dymon Asia Ventures added: “We are extremely pleased to be a part of LXDX’s mission to improve the infrastructure of cryptocurrency trading. We believe that blockchain investors deserve the reliability, performance, and professionalism found in traditional markets. We are thrilled to be supporting LXDX in their vision and execution of a more efficient trading system.”

Paxful to Build Second School in Rwanda

The Daily: Huobi OTC to Support Dồng, Dymon Asia Backs Crypto PlatformPaxful, which launched the #BuiltWithBitcoin program in 2017 by donating $50,000 for the construction of a nursery school in Rwanda, has announced today the latest development in its charitable initiative. The company will sponsor the construction of a school for students aged 6-15 in the Nyamata Sector of Rwanda’s Bugesera District. Paxful jump-started the project with a $20,000 donation. Total construction is estimated to cost $100,000, with the balance to be collected through an online crowdfunding campaign. Donations can be made via BTC, BCH, ETH, LTC and Dash. And Paxful vowed to match all community donations until the $100,000 goal is met. “The #BuiltWithBitcoin initiative is a testament to the power of cryptocurrency,” said Ray Youssef, CEO of Paxful. “We firmly believe that it can improve lives and make the world a better place.”

The new school is expected to be almost double the size of the first, with six classrooms and six full-time teachers serving up to 300 primary school students. It will include a cafeteria, a 35,000-liter potable water well, solar panels, and other resources for the education and enjoyment of students, staff, and faculty. “Education is a crucial tool for helping those in developing nations increase their standard of living, so we are very pleased to partner with Paxful to serve these bright young students,” said Yusuf A. Nessary, founder and president of Zam Zam Water, the humanitarian organization handling the project. “This is only a small glimpse into what we can and will continue to do with the power of cryptocurrency.”

Latest Scare: Crypto Mining Students

The mainstream media loves to make sensationalist headlines out of cryptocurrency. And their latest scare story is a supposed “wave of crypto mining at colleges”. CNBC talked to just one student from Penn State who was GPU mining using the free electricity in his dorm room back in 2017 and turned it into a wide phenomena threatening to burden universities with growing new energy costs. The report claims that cyber security firm Vectra conducted a study of mining on eleven campuses and found evidence of mining in every school. Furthermore, they claim universities are witnessing students starting mining operations between one to four times every day. And to add more interest, they even tried to link mining to somehow making the schools more vulnerable to hackers.

What do you think about today’s news tidbits? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.


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Vietnamese Stop Importing Bitcoin Mining Rigs as Import Ban Looms

Vietnamese Stop Importing Bitcoin Mining Rigs as Import Ban Looms

Vietnamese businesses and individuals have stopped importing bitcoin mining equipment into the country since the beginning of July, according to the Ho Chi Minh City Customs Department. This follows the government’s efforts to pass a law banning the import of bitcoin mining rigs into Vietnam.

Also read: Yahoo! Japan Confirms Entrance Into the Crypto Space

Mining Rig Imports Stop

Vietnamese Stop Importing Bitcoin Mining Rigs as Import Ban LoomsBusiness and individuals in Vietnam used to import a large number of crypto mining rigs into the country. Last year, the Customs Department of Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) cleared more than 7,000 bitcoin and litecoin miners. Meanwhile, the Customs Department of Hanoi imported 190 bitcoin miners and 350 litecoin miners, Vietnam Biz reported Wednesday.

According to the HCMC Customs Department, businesses and individuals imported 3,664 crypto miners from the beginning of this year to August 6, most of which were Antminers from China. The news outlet reiterated:

According to information from the Customs Department of Ho Chi Minh City, from early July 2018 to now, organizations and individuals have stopped importing mining rigs.

According to the publication, four enterprises imported more than 3,000 machines this year; the rest were imported by “individuals and organizations [that] do not have [a dedicated] import tax code.” Viet Nam News added that “according to data from the General Department of Customs, Vietnam imported about 15,600 mining machines from 2017 to April this year.”

Mining Rig Import Ban Looming

Vietnamese Stop Importing Bitcoin Mining Rigs as Import Ban LoomsThe lack of crypto mining rig imports follows the proposal by the country’s Ministry of Industry and Trade “to suspend the import of cryptocurrency mining machines in a move to improve the management of currency transactions in the country,” the publication detailed.

The ministry has gained support from a few other government agencies and the country’s central bank, the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV).

The ban was proposed because the country’s finance ministry became concerned that crypto mining rigs are “not on the list of goods banned from importation and are not subject to the list of specialised management or unsafe goods, so enterprises are easily allowed to complete the import procedures,” the publication explained, noting:

The use of mining equipment for bitcoin, litecoin and other cryptocurrencies in the country is difficult for the authorities to manage. Thus it is easy for people to use cryptocurrencies as a currency or another method of payment, which is illegal in Vietnam according to the amended Decree 101 on non-cash payments.

In April, Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc signed a directive calling for stronger measures for cryptocurrencies. Xinhua described that “under the directive, credit institutions in Vietnam are not allowed to carry out cryptocurrency-related transactions and must swiftly report any suspicious activities.”

Do you think Vietnam will eventually ban the import of bitcoin mining rigs? Let us know in the comments section below.


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The Daily: New Education Centers, Vietnamese Ask for Fraudster’s Extradition

The Daily: New Education Centers, Vietnamese Ask for Fraudster’s Extradition

In today’s edition of Bitcoin in Brief we cover a number of new academic education centers around the world devoted to the research of the technology behind cryptocurrency, and demands by Vietnamese victims for an alleged fraudster’s extradition plus an update about Kickico.

Also Read: Okex Socializes Loss From Over $400 Million Bet Among BTC Futures Traders

Tsinghua University Research Center

The Daily: New Education Centers, Vietnamese Ask for Fraudster’s ExtraditionChina Internet Nationwide Financial Services Inc. (NASDAQ: CIFS), a financial advisory services provider, has announced an agreement with Tsinghua University to establish an “Industry Trusted Blockchain Application Technology Joint Research Center”. The stated purpose of the center is developing key technologies to support the blockchain ecosystem in the country, as well as common architectural systems and models needed to support blockchain applications for a range of industries.

Mr. Bin Yang, Vice President of Tsinghua University, noted, “The development of industry-trusted blockchain application technologies has become a vital national strategy for all countries. It is an important goal for us to deeply build digital ecosystems, which once integrated into our economy should speed up China’s economic transition by upgrading the industry standard. The digital transformation has only just begun and the development of industry trusted blockchain applications is expected to have a number of positive impacts for the society.”

Bahçeşehir University Innovation Center

According to media reports from Turkey, the Istanbul Blockchain and Innovation Center was inaugurated on Friday at Bahçeşehir University. It is said to work with students and entrepreneurs who want to conduct academic studies in the field. “The purpose of the BlockchainIST project is to be the most important center of research and development and innovation in Turkey in which scientific studies and publications are made in blockchain technologies. To this end, it is crucial to cooperate with other universities, the business world and government institutions,” stated Director Bora Erdamar. “We will strive to train Turkey’s human resources in blockchain and enable the country to lead the world in this area,” he added.

Hartford, Connecticut Chain Valley

The Daily: New Education Centers, Vietnamese Ask for Fraudster’s ExtraditionSeven Stars Cloud Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: SSC), the fintech firm of Chinese media tycoon Bruno Wu, has announced that it will be establishing its global headquarters for technology and innovation, called Chain Valley, in Connecticut. The company said it will be transforming Uconn’s former campus in West Hartford into a center for research, training, and business development with a $283 million investment expected to create 330 jobs over the next five years.

“We are thrilled to have found such a wonderful spot right here in central Connecticut,” Bruno Wu said. “It is here that the first students to ever leave China, the Mission Boys, settled in the late 1800s to study Western science and engineering. It is in the spirit of these students that we will build a facility so modern and dynamic that it will attract the best talent and companies, making this site the blockchain capital of the U.S. and the world. This fantastic location provides access to a highly skilled workforce, as well as more than 40 institutions of higher learning, and several major metropolitan areas all in proximity of this site. It is an ideal location for our firm to write our next chapter, and we could not be more excited to soon join this wonderful community in West Hartford.”

Vietnamese Ask for Fraudster’s Extradition

The Daily: New Education Centers, Vietnamese Ask for Fraudster’s ExtraditionOver 1,000 people have signed a Change.org petition asking for the extradition to Vietnam of Le Minh Tam, the CEO of Ho Chi Minh City-based crypto mining scheme Sky Mining. The petition claims that the alleged fraudsters behind the company “invited 5,000 persons with each investment package from $500 to $5000. They used money to buy machine to get Bitcoin and promised to share the profit with investors. But finally, they escaped with all money, estimated $36 million dollars. Their Victims are not only in Vietnam but also in Japan, Africa. Some of the victims borrow money or sold estate to invest, so now lose everything and someone had killed themselves. Cheaters buy house in San Jose California and now stay in Atlanta or Germany. We need them come back to Vietnam to solve problem. Please Expel them from your countries!” According to local media reports, the Vietnamese police said that Tam left the country on July 22 and flew to Doha, Qatar.

Kickico Update

Kickico, which recently recovered 70 million stolen KICK tokens following a hack, has promised to compensate all stolen KICK tokens and soon begin transferring funds to users’ wallets. The team has also reportedly planned an airdrop of a new project’s native coin (called U.Community) to current KICK token holders, and the estimated pool value may reach $40 million. “It was through the vigilance and collaborative efforts of our community and team which led to such a positive result. Clearly the market has positively reacted to our handling of the situation. Together with all the support from our users, this has led to the growth of the token’s value,” said Alexander Spirin, Head of Community at Kickico.

What do you think about today’s news tidbits? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.


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Mining Round-Up: Sky Mining CEO Flees with $35 Million, Texas Attracts Miners

Mining Round-Up: Sky Mining CEO Flees With $35 Million, Texas Attracts Miners

In recent mining news, it has been alleged that the CEO of Vietnam-based Sky Mining has fled the country with $35 million USD in investor funds in his possession. Meanwhile, in the US, Tmgcore has acquired a 100-megawatt data center in Dallas, Texas, and local media have reported that Bitmain will open a mining facility in a former aluminium smelter in Rockdale, Texas.

Also Read: Market Caps for Privacy-Centric Currencies Have Dropped Significantly

Investors Allege CEO of Vietnamese Mining Company Fled to U.S. With $35 Million

Mining Round-Up: Sky Mining CEO Flees With $35 Million, Texas Attracts MinersInvestors and board members of Ho Chi Minh City-based Sky Mining have expressed fears that the company’s chief executive officer, Le Minh Tam, has fled the country and run away with approximately $35 million USD in investors funds.

According to local media, Mr. Tam has not been contactable since Monday, with the exception of an apology note posted to investors on Wednesday via Facebook. Investors reportedly visited the company’s main office in Phu Nhuan District to discover “the building closed and the company nameplate removed.” Additionally, “all 600 mining machines in the company’s factory in the neighboring Dong Nai Province’s Bien Hoa Town had been taken away by a group of people claiming to be maintenance workers.”

Le Minh Hieu, the deputy chairman of the company, is forming a temporary board to “support investors and calculate the remaining asset[s] of the company,” and has accused the CEO of fleeing to the United States. “[The board] has reported this to the police and showed evidence that we are not guilty,” said Mr. Hieu.

Bitmain to Open Mining Facility in Former Aluminum Smelter

According to local media, Bitmain will be opening a bitcoin mining facility in a former aluminum plant in Rockdale.

Jeff Mosier, an energy and environment reporter for Dallas News, states: “The new Bitcoin mining facility is going to be opening at the former Alcoa Aluminum smelter, and that’s next door to the coal plant that just closed. So now that that’s gone, they have a big industrial facility with lots of electricity infrastructure [capable of] Bitcoin mining, which is essentially a huge server farm.”

No indication has been made as to when the facility will launch operations, however Dallas News reports that a listing on job site Indeed.com indicates that Bitmain Technologies is seeking to employ a project manager for the Rockdale location. According to the publication, the facility is expected to create “300 to 500 jobs.”

Tmgcore Purchases $60 Million Data Center in Dallas

Mining Round-Up: Sky Mining CEO Flees With $35 Million, Texas Attracts MinersMining company Tmgcore has acquired a “$60 million USD, 150,000-square-foot data center” in Plano, Dallas, according to local media.

The facility is reportedly capable of a 100-megawatt power load, with the Tmgcore chief executive officer, JD Enright, stating: “One of the things you need is a lot of power, and there’s not a lot of places with 100 MW lying around.”

Mr. Enright claims that the company has “developed a two-phase liquid cooling Immersion technology to dramatically decrease cooling costs by up to 90 percent, allowing us to mine anywhere — even in Plano in the middle of the summer.”

Do you think that Texas will continue to see investment from cryptocurrency mining companies? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!


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Vietnamese Regulator Tells Firms and Funds to Stay Away From Crypto

Vietnamese Regulator Tells Firms and Funds to Stay Away From Crypto

Vietnam’s securities watchdog has required local businesses not to engage in transactions with cryptocurrencies. The announcement follows a directive issued by the country’s prime minister earlier this year aimed at tightening what Vietnamese regulators call the management of crypto activities.

Also read: China Releases Ranking of 31 Crypto Projects

Securities Watchdog Asks Companies to Obey AML Rules

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. They have also been asked to obey anti-money laundering (AML) regulations.

Vietnamese Regulator Tells Firms and Funds to Stay Away From Crypto

According to the SSC, the announcement is based on Directive No 10/CT-TTg signed on April 11 by Vietnam’s Prime Minister, Nguyen Xuan Phuc, Viet Nam News reported. The document puts an emphasis on strengthening the management of activities related to bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. The outlet also notes that the use of digital currencies is prohibited in Vietnam.

Not the First Anti-Crypto Measure

This is not the first administrative measure aimed at curbing crypto activities in the country. In April, the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) banned commercial banks, payment services providers and intermediaries from making transactions involving cryptocurrencies. The central bank also issued a warning stating that such activities may increase the risks of money laundering, terrorism financing, trade fraud and tax evasion.

Vietnamese Regulator Tells Firms and Funds to Stay Away From CryptoLast October, the SBV declared that cryptos do not represent a “lawful means of payment” in the Asian country. Its proposals in that respect, which were submitted to the government in Hanoi, included a ban on the issuance, distribution, and use of cryptocurrencies as well as criminal prosecution and fines for their users.

Recently, citing the familiar argument – the need to improve the management of cryptocurrencies in Vietnam – the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Industry and Trade, and the SBV reached an agreement to suspend the import of crypto mining equipment. The proposal came from the Finance Ministry in June, as news.Bitcoin.com reported.

Fraud and Scam in Vietnam

Vietnamese Regulator Tells Firms and Funds to Stay Away From CryptoIn the past couple of years, the Vietnamese mining sector has been growing rapidly leading to a significant increase in the number of imported mining rigs. Digital coin minting, however, has caused concern in Hanoi. In May, close to 150 Vietnamese government agencies, financial institutions and businesses took part in a large cyber-security drill aimed at preventing the spread of mining malware.

Crypto-related fraud has played a role in shaping the current attitude of Vietnamese authorities and regulators towards the crypto space. The country recently had to deal with one of the largest scams in crypto history in which more than 30,000 people were defrauded into investing in the Ifan and Pincoin currencies.

What are your expectations for the future of cryptocurrencies in Vietnam? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.


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Vietnam Proposes Import Ban on Bitcoin Mining Equipment

Vietnam Proposes Import Ban on Bitcoin Mining Equipment

Vietnam’s Ministry of Finance has officially proposed that the country bans the import of cryptocurrency mining equipment. Bitcoin mining rigs are currently easily imported into Vietnam. This proposal follows the largest crypto fraud case in the country involving over $656 million and more than 32,000 victims.

Also read: Yahoo! Japan Confirms Entrance Into the Crypto Space

Ministry of Finance’s Proposal

Vietnam Proposes Import Ban on Bitcoin Mining EquipmentIn the recently released report containing the opinions of the ministries involved in the management of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies in Vietnam, the country’s Ministry of Finance proposes suspending the importation of mining equipment, according to local media. This report, referred to as Document 5964 / BTC-TCHQ, has been submitted to the country’s prime minister. Zing.vn publication elaborated:

According to the Ministry of Finance, mining machines are not on the list of goods banned from importation and are not subject to the list of specialized management or unsafe goods, so enterprises are easily allowed to complete the import procedures.

Vietnam Proposes Import Ban on Bitcoin Mining EquipmentThe ministry outlined in its report that the use of mining equipment for bitcoin, litecoin and other cryptocurrencies in the country is difficult for the authority to manage. “From there, it is easy for people to use [cryptocurrencies] as a currency or another method of payment,” the City Economic News Kinhte & Dothi quoted the ministry. “This is in violation of the amended government Decree 101 on non-cash payments,” Zing.vn conveyed.

The publication also noted that data from the General Department of Vietnam Customs shows that “from 2017 to half of 4/2018, the country imported about 15,600 mining machines,” adding that most of them were imported into Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, and Da Nang. Last year, more than 9,300 rigs were imported into Vietnam and over 6,300 rigs were imported in the first four months of this year.

Decision to Ban Mining Imports

The ministry also referred the case where Modern Tech Corp in Ho Chi Minh City was “accused [of] over VND 15 trillion [~US$656 million] of fraud by more than 32,000 people through its Ifan and Pincoin virtual currency investment models.” According to the ministry, protecting the Vietnamese people from similar scams in the future “requires state management agencies to take strict control measures with the import and use of this commodity.” The Vnexpress reiterated:

To prevent other possible events, in the immediate future, the Ministry of Finance proposed to apply the import suspension measures for the above types of mining equipment.

The Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc recently signed a directive to strengthen “the management of activities related to bitcoin and other virtual currencies,” as news.Bitcoin.com previously reported.

What do you think of the proposal to ban mining rig imports? Let us know in the comments section below.


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Hanoi Prohibits Use of Cryptocurrencies in E-commerce Transactions

Hanoi Prohibits Use of Cryptocurrencies in E-commerce Transactions

The Hanoi Department of Industry and Trade has prohibited organizations and individuals involved in e-commerce business in the city from using bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. This follows a directive signed by the country’s prime minister intended to strengthen the legal framework of cryptocurrencies.

Also read: Yahoo! Japan Confirms Entrance Into the Crypto Space

Banning Crypto Use in E-commerce

The Hanoi Department of Industry and Trade announced on Saturday that it has sent document No. 1638 / SCT-QLTM to “organizations and individuals directly or indirectly related to e-commerce business in Hanoi [to] not use bitcoin and other virtual currencies (cryptocurrencies) to settle e-commerce transactions online.” Citing that if violations are detected, “they shall be strictly dealt with according to the provisions of the law,” the regulator wrote:

The Department of Industry and Trade requires organizations and individuals who are directly or indirectly involved in e-commerce business in Hanoi to strictly abide by the above-mentioned regulations and do not use bitcoin and other virtual currencies….in payment of e-commerce transactions, online purchases and sales, [and] payment [of] online services in contravention of Vietnamese law.

Vietnamese Law on Crypto

Hanoi Prohibits Use of Cryptocurrencies in E-commerce TransactionsCiting provisions of the government’s Decree No. 101/2012 / ND-CP on non-cash payment instruments, the document reiterates, “bitcoin and other similar virtual currencies are not legal means of payment in Vietnam; The issuance, supply, use of bitcoin and similar virtual currency is prohibited in Vietnam.”

Violations are subject to a “fine of between VND 150,000,000 [~US$6,608] and 200,000,000 [~$8,810] for individuals and for organizations with two times the fine level for personal,” the document emphasizes. Furthermore, as of January this year, issuing and using cryptocurrencies “may be subject to criminal prosecution.”

Hanoi Prohibits Use of Cryptocurrencies in E-commerce TransactionsLast week, the Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc signed a directive to strengthen the management of activities related to bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. This follows reports of the country’s “biggest digital money fraud in history,” which duped approximately 32,000 Vietnamese out of VNĐ15 trillion (~$658 million). The police are currently investigating the case.

Meanwhile, the Justice Ministry, the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV), and related agencies are working on the regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies. According to the Ho Chi Minh City Customs Department, the number of bitcoin mining rigs legally imported into the country has skyrocketed since last year, prompting the department to propose a ban on their imports. Earlier this year, the department revealed that, in the first three weeks of January, almost 8,000 mining rigs were legally imported into the city.

What do you think of Hanoi prohibiting the use of crypto for e-commerce transactions? Let us know in the comments section below.


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Vietnam’s Prime Minister Directs Central Bank to Strengthen Cryptocurrency Framework

Vietnam’s Prime Minister Directs Central Bank to Strengthen Crypto Framework

The Prime Minister of Vietnam has signed a directive for the country’s central bank and the Ministry of Finance to strengthen the management of cryptocurrency-related activities. This follows an alleged fraud involving a cryptocurrency that scammed 32,000 Vietnamese out of VNĐ15 trillion.

Also read: Japan’s DMM Bitcoin Exchange Opens for Business With 7 Cryptocurrencies

Prime Minister’s Directive

The Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc has signed a directive to strengthen “the management of activities related to bitcoin and other virtual currencies,” Viet Nam News reported, elaborating:

To limit the risks and adverse impacts on society, as well as promptly detect, prevent and handle fraud, the Prime Minister asked the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) to direct credit institutions and intermediary payment service organisations not to conduct illegal transactions related to digital currencies.

The authorities have repeatedly warned about the risks associated with cryptocurrencies “as well as their use for criminal activity such as money laundering, terrorist financing, illegal remittance, tax evasion and fraud,” the news outlet added.

Preventing Crypto Scams

This directive follows an alleged crypto fraud involving a theft of VNĐ15 trillion (~USD$658 million) from 32,000 victims in Ho Chi Minh City. Dozens of investors protested over the weekend at the office of Modern Tech Jsc Co, which marketed the Ifan tokens. They carried banners saying “biggest digital money fraud in history,” the publication conveyed, adding that the location turned out to be a ghost address with no sign of company activities.

Vietnam’s Prime Minister Directs Central Bank to Strengthen Crypto Framework
Protesters holding banners outside Modern Tech office. Photo: Huy Hung.

For an investment of $1,000 or more, Modern Tech promised a return of at least 48% in cash and an additional 8% for recruiting other buyers, one protester explained. However, the global decline of the crypto market has caused Ifan’s value to plummet to about 1 US cent and the company subsequently changed its policy to pay out interest and principal back in the Ifan currency instead of cash, the publication described.

The SBV has been closely following this case, the news outlet reported a central bank official indicating. “We are gathering information about the case, but officially we haven’t launched an investigation until we receive accusations from any of the alleged victims,” Le Dong Phong, the police chief of Ho Chin Minh City told Reuters.

Crypto Laws In the Works

According to the Prime Minister’s directive, financial organizations must “strengthen their management, review and report suspicious transactions related to cryptocurrencies,” Viet Nam News added.

Vietnam’s Prime Minister Directs Central Bank to Strengthen Crypto Framework
Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc.

Following the directive signing, the Vietnamese Government Office published Letter No. 2768 / VPCP-KTTH on Wednesday to provide directions for the Ministry of Finance, Information and Communication as well as the SBV to follow, according to the Government Gazette.

The Prime Minister continues to put the Ministry of Justice in charge of studying and completing a “uniform and unified legal framework on the management and handling of virtual currency, virtual property and electronic money,” the Gazette detailed. The Justice Ministry, the SBV, and other related agencies are already carrying out the crypto-related tasks assigned by the Prime Minister in a directive submitted in January. According to the Gazette, the Justice Ministry sent a written statement to the Prime Minister, stating:

Although there are no regulations on virtual currency, there are also no rules that ban transactions using virtual currency.

The SBV also submitted its comments to the Prime Minister, emphasizing that it “is the only agency issuing paper money and coins” which are the only legal means of payment in Vietnam. “As such, the SBV believes that bitcoin and other similar virtual currencies are not currencies and legal means of payment in Vietnam. The issuance, supply, use of bitcoin and other similar virtual currency as a means of payment is prohibited in Vietnam,” the Gazette reiterated.

What do you think of the Vietnamese Prime Minister’s directive on cryptocurrency? Let us know in the comments section below.


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Scam Round-Up: Asian Investment Schemes and Snail Mail Extortion

Scam Round-Up: Asian Investment Schemes and Snail Mail Extortion

Unfortunately, as with any industry, scams of all shapes and sizes persist within the cryptocurrency sector. This past week has seen a Filipino couple arrested after amassing over $17 million USD through a bitcoin investment scam, and protests held outside the office of a Vietnamese company that swindled $660 through two multi-level marketing (MLM) initial coin offerings (ICOs). It appears that cryptocurrency scams are still being peddled via analog communications – with phone and snail mail-based scams being reported this week also. 

Also Read: Bittrex Exchange is Back! Annnnnnd It’s Gone Again

Filipino Couple Amasses Nearly $1 Billion Philippine Pesos Through Investment Scam

Scam Round-Up: Asian Investment Schemes and Snail Mail ExtortionEarlier this week, the Philippine National Police (PNP) arrested Arnel and Leonay Ordania – a couple who are accused of amassing approximately P900 million through a bitcoin investment scam.

The couple is accused of luring roughly 50 investors in their company, Newg, for which they were promised 30% returns every 15 days. Rosanne Maglunog, a victim of the Ordania’s scam, invested P33 million into the scheme with her family and husband during November and December 2017, before discovering via social media that Newg would no longer be issuing payouts to investors.

The PNP chief, Ronald dela Rosa, has told media that the couple was arrested on April 4th in an entrapment operation executed by the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group.

Vietnamese Company Protested for Promoting MLM ICO

Scam Round-Up: Asian Investment Schemes and Snail Mail ExtortionVietnamese media has reported that protests were held outside the office building of Ho Chi Minh City-based company, Modern Tech. Reports have indicated that the company is accused of swindling VND15 Trillion ($660 million USD) from roughly 32,000 investors through two multi-level marketing ICOs, Ifan, and Pincoin.

Ifan investors were promised gains “on a daily basis” as prominent Vietnamese musicians were to join the platform, and assured that the company abided by Singapore’s regulatory guidelines. Pincoin was described as a project based in Dubai. Investors were promised monthly returns of 48%, a full recuperation of all investments in fourth months, and an 8% commission on revenue generated by referred investors.

In reality, seven Vietnamese nationals are said to have been behind both projects, with Modern Tech serving as a means to promote what were no more than multi-level marketing schemes. Whilst investors were able to see the ‘paper’ value of their investments rise, none were able to realize their profits in any form.

Canadian Utilities Provider Issues Warning of Phone Scam

Scam Round-Up: Asian Investment Schemes and Snail Mail ExtortionEpcor, an Alberta-based utility company proving natural gas, electricity, water, and wastewater treatment services, has warned its customers of a phone scam impersonating the company targeting businesses.

The company warned that businesses have been receiving telephone calls from an individual impersonating an Epcor representative, threatening to shut off electricity services within an hour should they fail to make a payment in bitcoin.

Tim le Riche, a spokesperson for Epcor, revealed that the company received seven calls reporting the scam, including two from businesses that had already made “substantial” payments to the scammers. Mr. Riche stated that “Epcor does not do business like this,” adding that “If there does happen to be any kind of billing issue with any customer, we always work with them […] We would never make a sudden phone call to a customer to say, ‘You’ve got to make a payment within an hour or we’re going to shut you down.’ We just don’t do that.”

Snail Mail Extortion Continues

Scam Round-Up: Asian Investment Schemes and Snail Mail ExtortionOn Friday, April 6th, two Belmont residents reported a suspicious letter threatening to release evidence of secrets should $8,750 worth of bitcoin not be received within ten days. The letter also contained an accompanying guide on how to use bitcoin.

In January, CNBC reported that many American men were receiving letters through the post threatening to divulge details pertaining to infidelities should $2,000 worth of BTC not be sent to the blackmailer.

Have you every fallen victim to a scam involving crypto? Share your experiences in the comments section below!


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Japanese Police Arrest Chinese Man for Selling Cryptocurrency Exchange Accounts

Japanese Police Arrest Chinese Man for Selling Cryptocurrency Exchange Accounts

During the height of the cryptocurrency trading mania, when major exchanges closed their doors to new clients in an effort to cope, it was not uncommon to see people offering big amounts to buy existing accounts. The following case should serve as a warning to anyone considering selling accounts, as you can never know what legal problems may arise.

Also Read: Chinese Engineer Arrested for Stealing 100 Bitcoin From His Own Company

Chinese Corporate Executive Arrested in Tokyo

Japanese Police Arrest Chinese Man for Selling Cryptocurrency Exchange AccountsThe Japanese police revealed on Tuesday that they arrested a Chinese citizen in Tokyo for allegedly selling client accounts, at cryptocurrency exchanges he opened, to a group of criminals. The man is reportedly named Lin Xiaolin, and said to be a 30 years old corporate executive living in the Japanese capital city.

According to reports from China, the executive was arrested on March 15, 2018. He allegedly opened the accounts at a cryptocurrency exchange in Tokyo by accessing its server from his home country under the identity of a Vietnamese individual. The Chinese man has denied these allegations.

The police said that after opening an account, Lin immediately sold it off to a criminal group for approximately 100,000 yen (less than $1,000). He allegedly opened a total of six cryptocurrency exchanges accounts, and at least three of which were later used in some illicit transactions, the Tokyo police believe.

The Vietnamese Connection

Japanese Police Arrest Chinese Man for Selling Cryptocurrency Exchange AccountsThe Japanese police suspect that the criminal group deposited cryptocurrency taken from a third party to the accounts they got from Lin, in violation of the law. The investigators also think he might have handed the criminals not just accounts but other “tools” they may use.

The Chinese executive allegedly acquired the personal details of a Vietnamese person from an acquaintance he had in Vietnam. They chatted on Facebook and Lin paid 30,000 yen (less than $300) to get the name, birthday date and more information of another individual. These were used to open an exchange account in early July 2017, according to the police. The investigators first arrested four Vietnamese back in February for allegedly selling this information to Lin, but prosecutors eventually decided against indicting them.

What should be the punishment for selling off cryptocurrency exchange accounts? Tell us what you think in the comments section below.


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Vietnam Imported More Mining Rigs in 3 Weeks This Month Than All of Last Year

Vietnam Imported More Mining Rigs in 3 Weeks This Month Than All of Last Year

The Ho Chi Minh City Customs Department has revealed that in the first 3 weeks of this month almost 8,000 mining rigs were imported into the city. This number exceeds the entire count of mining rigs imported into Vietnam last year.

Also read: South Korean Officials Caught Trading On Insider Knowledge of Crypto Regulations

Nearly 8000 Mining Rigs Imported in 23 Days

Vietnam Imported More Mining Rigs in 3 Weeks This Month Than All of Last YearThe Ho Chi Minh City (HMC) Customs Department has revealed the number of mining rigs imported during the first three weeks of January.

Nguyen Thanh Tuyen, the customs department’s deputy director told the HMC Law Department on January 24 that 7,932 mining rigs were imported into the city between January 1 and 23, Tuoi Tre reported. He added that the total value of these rigs is “nearly $12.3 million…[and] the amount of tax paid to the [city’s] budget is nearly 28 billion dong [~$1.23 million].” Tianphong elaborated:

Currently, the price of bitcoin mining rigs is quite high, from 70 to 80 million [VND]; some places even [sell them for] up to 100 million [VND] per machine.

Vietnam Imported More Mining Rigs in 3 Weeks This Month Than All of Last YearThe publication noted that most mining rigs are imported from China, adding that they cost approximately 20-25 million dong each but were sold for 35-40 million dong each in early 2016. By mid-2017, “the price of mining rigs increased to VND 45-60 million per machine and at present, although the price of bitcoin decreased, the price of mining rigs still increased to VND 80-90 million per machine,” the publication added.

News.Bitcoin.com recently reported that a total of 7,005 known mining rigs were imported in 2017. Most of them, 5,527 rigs, were imported between November and December 21. Only 1,478 rigs were declared entering the country between January 1 and October 31 of last year, according to the HMC Customs Department.

No Regulations Yet

Tuyen explained that mining rig imports and mining operations in the city are “still normal because there are no regulations for the import of such goods,” Tianphong quoted him. Currently, “the State Bank has confirmed that bitcoin and other similar virtual currencies are not legal means of payment in Vietnam” and residents using them as such “will be fined 150-200 million [VND], and may be subject to criminal prosecution from January 1, 2018,” the publication emphasized.

Nguyen Hoang Minh, deputy director of the HMC branch of the State Bank, was quoted saying:

Virtual currency in general, and bitcoin and litecoin in particular, are not currencies and are not legal means of payment under the Vietnamese law.

What do you think of the Vietnamese mining industry growing so quickly? Let us know in the comments section below.


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