Vietnam Enjoying Unlikely Crypto Boom – But There Is a Twist
Vietnam has imported over 6,300 pieces of cryptocurrency mining hardware in the first four months of this year, per statistics released by the Vietnamese customs service. The figure is over half of the total number of devices imported in the whole of 2017, when over 9,300 cryptocurrency mining rigs were brought into the country.
Interest in cryptocurrencies and fintech has skyrocketed in the last year in Vietnam, with a number of major blockchain and cryptocurrency-related companies from around Asia setting up shop in the country. This has come despite looming threats of a China-style crackdown after two high-profile bogus initial coin offering (ICO) scams left thousands of investors high and dry.
The country recently hosted a high-profile blockchain event, in conjunction with Chinese exchange Huobi’s Vietnamese branch. Another is set to follow in coming weeks – this time involving a number of government organizations and ministries, many of whom are keen to explore potential applications for the technology.
However, June has already brought mixed news for Vietnam’s growing crypto-community. Per internet security provider Bkav Corporation, more than 36,000 computers in the country have been infected with cryptojacking software as of January this year. Per media outlet RFA, criminals are spreading viruses that force users’ browsers and CPUs (central processing units) to mine cryptocurrency for remote servers via Facebook Messenger.
And miners in the country also face a new hurdle after the country’s finance ministry this week called for a “temporary ban” on mining hardware imports, per Xinhua.