Vietnam’s first Bitcoin exchange to open in April

By Anh Vu - Mai Ha, Thanh Nien News

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The website of Bitcoin Company, which is set to launch Vietnam's first Bitcoin exchange in April.

A company Wednesday announced the launch of Vietnam’s first Bitcoin exchange in late April though the central bank has ruled out recognition for the digital money.
Bitcoin Vietnam said it would open a floor called VBTC with Israeli partner Bit2C company.
Nguyen Tran Bao Phuong, managing director of the former company, said the cooperation marks a milestone in the development of Vietnam’s Bitcoin economy and would play an important role in the economy as a whole.
“The scale is still small compared to world levels, but it will be quickly expanded.”
His Israeli counterpart, Eli Bejerano, said he was happy to see the currency, which he believes Bitcoin represents a "revolution" in international trade, join the vibrant Vietnamese economy.
The announcement of the plan comes a month after the State Bank of Vietnam ruled out recognition for Bitcoin, citing similar rulings in neighboring countries like Thailand, China, Malaysia, and Indonesia and and further afar in places like Russia, France, and Norway.
Phuong said since Bitcoin is yet to be recognized in Vietnam, there is no legal framework governing for his business.
“We contacted the legal department at the State Bank of Vietnam and were told that since they do not accept Bitcoin as a currency, [it] does not fall under the purview of the bank and we do not have to register with the bank.
“We also contacted the Ministry of Industry and Trade and were told that Bitcoin is not a commodity and so does not fall under the ministry’s jurisdiction and we do not need to register to it.”
But Tran Huu Linh, head of the ministry’s e-commerce department, and Doan Thai Son, head of the central bank's legal department, both denied being contacted by Phuong's company.
Transactions using Bitcoin have been done in a dozen countries in Europe and America and the money itself is considered an asset.
Its value has risen from $13 to more than $1,000 in the US at present. The around 11 million Bitcoins on the market worldwide are not controlled by any central authority.
Phuong said once the government clearly defines Bitcoin and creates a legal framework for it, he would properly register.
He said a Bitcoin association has already been formed and is scheduled to debut on May 23.
The central bank has warned that any transaction using Bitcoin will not be recognized or protected.
Private company Hiep Dong, which owns parenting forum lamchame.com, announced in January it would accept Bitcoins, expressing the ambition to be a pioneer in the country since the currency is set to become a global trend and an e-commerce mainstay.
Analysts said Bitcoin provides little guarantee as there is no central authority or bank to take responsibility for cryptography errors or provide protection in case of fraud.
Mt.Gox in Tokyo, one of the two world’s largest Bitcoin exchanges along with Bitstamp in the UK, collapsed February 18 and said that 850,000 Bitcoins worth US$473 million were lost or stolen in a hacking attack.
Bitstamp also suspended withdrawals in February for several days due to a distributed denial-of-service, or DDOS, attack.

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