by Nuno Menezes
The cryptocurrency industry in Vietnam is going through a rough phase. More than two months after a big scam scandal gotten the attention of the country’s government, the Vietnamese Central Bank is now following the government recommendations and has agreed shut down all support for cryptocurrency mining equipment imports.
Vietnam’s Anti-Mining Stace
In April 2018, a big scam affected dozens of investors and since then, the country’s Prime Minister has ordered several ministries to remain vigilant with ICOs and anything that had to do with cryptocurrency industry. The Government closely monitored the case where Modern Tech Corp in Ho Chi Minh City was accused of committing fraud valued at over VNĐ15 trillion (US$656 million), luring investors through its cryptocurrency investment models. Needless to say that scrutiny over cryptocurrency got tighter causing a significant impact on the sector in the country.
According to Viet Nam News, after government recommendations, the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) agreed to close the support for the import of cryptocurrency mining machines. The Bank decision comes amidst the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) request to suspend the import of cryptocurrency mining hardware in an attempt to increase the management and control of digital currency transactions in the country.
The Bank move was a reaction to an official letter from the MoIT requesting for the Bank’s cooperation in research and comments on the management of cryptocurrencies in the country.
According to the Ministry of Finance (MoF), cryptocurrency mining machines are not on the list of goods banned from importation and are not under specialized management or hazardous goods terms. Therefore anyone could easily request the support of the Bank to complete the import procedures. To prevent this from happening, the MoF proposed to ban the machine imports temporarily.
Authorities find very difficult to track and manage the use and mining of cryptocurrencies in the country. Mining itself is not legal in the state; however, the use of cryptocurrency as a payment method is illegal in the country, according to the amended Decree 101 on non-cash payments.
The government excuse is to protect its citizens from potential scams such as the HCM City scam and explains that cryptocurrency needs to be closely monitored by State management agencies as it is looking to take strict control measures with the import and use of this commodity.
Throughout 2018 we have been watching increased pressure from the government’s around the world to regulate the cryptocurrency sector. This increased pressure is taking its toll on the mining industry as well.
Chipmaker TSMC Cuts Down Revenue Estimates
As reported by the Business Times on July 19, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd (TSMC) announced a cut on its annual revenue and capital expenditure estimates. This was primarily motivated by an expectation for the slow growth of the world’s largest contract chipmaker in the smartphone and cryptocurrency mining industries.
TSMC is one of the primary dealers of chips for multinational technology companies such as Apple Inc, Qualcomm Inc and Nvidia Corp. The company is working to surpass its lowered 2018 revenue growth. It expects to reach a high single-digit percent from 10 percent previously, ranging from US$11.5-12 billion to US$10-10.5 billion.
The company’s chief financial officer Lora Ho stated:
“We anticipate our business will benefit from new product launches . . . while cryptocurrency mining demand will decrease from the second quarter.”
According to analysts, TSMC might have to face the slow demand for cryptocurrency dedicated high-end chips as miners switch to lower-powered chips due to an increased regulatory scrutiny of the sector and extreme volatility. The trading disagreement between the United States and China could also put the company facing the risk of losing its most prominent clients in mainland China.
No doubt the industry is slowing down as the cryptocurrency market had a significant crash. This last surge in the Bitcoin price came as a blessing for Bitcoin miners as mining costs have been way over the roof. Things have not been bright for the sector and analysts are not so optimistic for what lies ahead.