Cryptocurrency Miners Face the Heat as Vietnam Bans Imports and Taiwanese Chipmaker Lowers Revenue Figures

The State Bank of Vietnam (SBV), the East Asian country’s central bank, announced on July 19, 2018, the import of cryptocurrency miners to the nation is indefinitely suspended.

Mining Imports Blocked

According to Viet Nam News, the backpedaling move follows an official request from Vietnam’s Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT), which earlier in 2018 called for a ban on mining rigs. The ministry noted over 15,600 units of the powerful machinery were imported from 2017 to April 2018, primarily through its capital Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi, and  Da Nang.

As stated on Xinhua in June 2018, over 6,300 application-specific integrated circuits (ASIC) mining rigs were imported to Vietnam for the first four months of 2018.

At the time, the SBV, MoIT, and Ministry of Finance were directed by Trinh Dinh Dung, Vietnam’s Deputy Prime Minister, to conduct due research into the management of cryptocurrency miners, including global regulations in the sector.

As reported, the suspension is mainly to address the problem of currency flows in Vietnam, a country whose economy is relatively weak, but stable, and managing the significant number of miners to the nation which makes the economic conditions “complicated.”

Concerns Cited

Notably, the stay on mining activities can be attributed to Vietnam’s cryptocurrency ban, levied in late 2017 as a means to prevent payments outside of recognized tenders in the country.

In June 2018, the country’s Ministry of Finance (MoF) cited the “very difficult” process of regulating digital currencies and demanded a ban on the rising asset class. The move followed April’s incident wherein Vietnam was embroiled in a massive $660 million cryptocurrency scam involving two ICOs, as reported by Fortune.

Between the two events mentioned above, Hanoi’s Department of Industry and Trade suspended all retail entrepreneurs and institutions in the e-commerce sector from utilizing Bitcoin (BTC) and related digital currencies to conduct their business.

TMSC Lowers Expectations

The cryptocurrency mining sector is increasingly finding itself at the middle of several controversial and ill-fated developments.

In a separate report on July 19, 2018, the prestigious Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd (TSMC) slashed its annual revenue and capital expenditure figures on the back of slowed demand from the mining industry.

For the uninitiated, TSMC is the world’s largest chipmaker and supplies “chips,” or micro-thin electricity-conducting wafers, to the world’s most prominent smartphone and mining manufacturers – such as Apple, Nvidia, and Bitmain.

Now, the chipmaker has lowered growth percentages to a “high single-digit percent” from over ten percent in a previous financial report, and cutdown revenues from a projected $11 billion to $10 billion.

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