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How to Buy Bitcoin Vietnam: A Beginner’s Guide

Read our user-friendly guide below to find out how to buy Bitcoin in Vietnam today.
Kane Pepi
Author: Kane Pepi
Last Updated: 23 July 2020

If you’re based in Vietnam and wish to get your hands on Bitcoin – the process can be somewhat tricky. As you likely know, the State Bank of Vietnam has previously issued guidance on the matter – noting that the use of cryptocurrencies as a payment method is illegal.

With that said, you can easily and legally buy Bitcoin with a credit card from a regulated online broker that accepts Vietnamese residents.

In this article, we give you a step-by-step guide on how to Buy Bitcoin in Vietnam, as well as the best platform to do this with. We also discuss some of the factors that you need to consider before joining a new Bitcoin broker – such as regulation, fees, commissions, and payments.

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    Our recommended Vietnamese Bitcoin Platform

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    The Bitcoin broker listed below is not only regulated by three tier-one licensing bodies – but it accepts residents of Vietnam. This means that you will be able to buy Bitcoin with your Vietnamese-issued Visa or MasterCard, bank account, or an e-wallet like Paypal. Crucially, our top-rated broker will store your Bitcoin for you, so the investment is fully in-line with Vietnamese laws.

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    Bitcoin in Vietnam

    Vietnam is still one of the most anti-cryptocurrency nations globally. With the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) noting that the use of cryptocurrencies as a means of payment within Vietnam is illegal, getting your hands on Bitcoin is extremely challenging. The SBV has also imposed harsh fines on anyone breaching this ruling, with penalties ranging from 150-200 million VND.

    This became evident in 2017 when FPT University announced that it would accept Bitcoin as a means to settle tuition fees. The university quickly reversed its decision in light of the SBV’s comments. It will, therefore, come as no surprise to learn that Vietnam is home to no licensed Bitcoin brokers. On the contrary, a number of platforms do operate, albeit, in an unregulated manner.

    Similarly, although there are a few Bitcoin ATMs in Vietnam, it remains to seen how exchanging cold-hard dong for BTC is within the realms of the law. On the flip side, peer-to-peer website InsideBitcoins does have a huge presence in the country. With that being said, as Bitcoin is technically exchanging hands, you would be using the platform at your own risk. Ultimately, the only way that you can get legally invest in Bitcoin is to use a regulated broker located overseas.

    We should also note that the wider cryptocurrency arena has somewhat of a murky reputation in Vietnam. This is linked to the $660 million fraudulent ICO projects of Ifan and Pincoin – both of which were run out of a Ho Chi Minh office. In total, it is estimated that the two projects dupped more than 32,000 investors.

    What is the Best Way to Buy Bitcoin in Vietnam?

    As noted above, the central bank of Vietnam has made its stance of Bitcoin’s legality crystal clear, so your investment options are going to be limited. To clarify, there are no regulated brokers or exchanges operating in the country, and access to Bitcoin ATMs is going to scarce. LocalBitcoins – a peer-to-peer platform, does have a large user base in Vietnam. This is likely because transactions remain off the books.

    In other words, if you were to pay for your Bitcoin via a Vietnam bank transfer, the respective institution would not know that the transaction is liked to cryptocurrencies. On the flip side, it is likely that such a process is breaching Vietnamese regulations, not least because the Bitcoin is changing hands within the domestic market. In-person exchanges are also becoming more common in the country via LocalBitcoins, albeit, not only is this potentially illegal, but it’s fraught with risk.

    Note: When using a regulated broker located overseas, your deposit will be taken in US dollars. This is because platforms do not support emerging currencies like VND. Don’t worry, you can still use a Vietnam-issued debit or credit card – it’s just that your broker account will be stated in USD.   

    So where does that you leave you in your hunt to buy Bitcoin in Vietnam? Well, the option you are left with is also the safest, cheapest, and most convenient way of investing in Bitcoin – a regulated online broker located overseas. In a nutshell, by using a platform like eToro – which is licensed by the FCA, ASIC, and CySEC – you can easily deposit funds with a debit/credit card, e-wallet, or bank account.

    Once you do, you can buy Bitcoin without paying any fees. Crucially, eToro does not allow you to withdraw your coins out – even though you retain 100% ownership at all times. This means that you can safely store your investment at the broker and thus – not use, store, or transact within Vietnamese borders.  Then, when it comes to selling your coins back to Vietnamese dong, you can withdraw the proceeds back to the same payment method you used to deposit.

    How to Buy Bitcoin in Vietnam: Step-by-Step Tutorial

    So now that you know the many ways that you can’t buy Bitcoin in Vietnam, we are now going to give you a simple step-by-step guide on the best way to make an investment. The process involves opening an account with our top-rated Bitcoin broker – eToro. In doing so, you’ll benefit from commission-free trades, heaps of supported payment methods, and the protection of three tier-one regulators. Crucially, the platform accepts residents of Vietnam.

    Step 1: Open an Account

     

    Visit the eToro website and open a Bitcoin account.  The process takes just minutes, and will require the following information from you:

    • First and Last Name
    • Home Address
    • Nationality
    • Date of Birth
    • Contact Details

    As eToro also hosts complex financial instruments (like leverage and the ability to short-sell assets), you will need to answer some questions about your prior trading experience. Don’t worry, the platform isn’t in the business of turning down account applicants for having a lack of knowledge, it’s just to make sure you understand the risk.

    Step 2: KYC & Verification

    As a Bitcoin broker that takes regulation seriously, eToro will ask you to upload a clear copy of your government-issued ID. This can be a passport or driver’s license, and the information contained on your ID must match that of what you stated in your account application.

    Step 3: Deposit Funds

     

    Once you’ve opened and verified your eToro account, you can then proceed to deposit some funds. Firstly, there are no deposit fees to contend with, which is great. You will also need to meet a $200 minimum deposit, which amounts to around 4.5 million VND.

    Supported payment methods include:

    • Debit Card
    • Credit Card
    • Local Bank Transfer
    • Skrill
    • Paypal
    • Neteller
    • RapdiPay

    Unless you are opting for an international bank transfer, all deposits at eToro are instant.

    Step 4: Go to Bitcoin Trading Page

    Now that you’ve funded your eToro account, you are ready to buy Bitcoin! Enter ‘Bitcoin’ into the search box at the top of the page, and click on the result that pops up. Next, click on the blue ‘Trade’ button.

    Step 5: Buy Bitcoin

    You will now see an order box pop-up. As you will see, there are a few bits of information that you need to fill in before your trade is executed.

    As a newbie investor, we would suggest reading through the guidelines listed below to make sure you fill in the order form correctly.

    • Buy/Sell: The vast majority of you will be buying Bitcoin because you think it will increase in value. If so, leave the order set as a ‘buy’ order. However, if you think the opposite, a ‘sell’ order will allow you to make gains if Bitcoin goes down in value.
    • Stake: Enter the amount of Bitcoin that you wish to trade – in US dollars.
    • Market/Limit Order: Leave this set as a ‘market’ order if you simply want to take the current market price of Bitcoin. If you want to enter the market at a different price, change this to a ‘limit’ order.
    • Leverage: If you want to apply leverage, this allows you to trade with more than you have in your eToro account. If you do, you will be investing in CFDs as opposed to buying and owning Bitcoin.
    • Stop-Loss: Enter the price that you wish to have your trade closed at if the markets go against you.
    • Take-Profit: If the markets are going in your favour, you can cash out your investment when BItocin hits a certain price.

    Finally, click on ‘Buy’ to complete your Bitcoin purchase. If you’re shorting the market, click on ‘Sell’.

    What to Look for in a Vietnamese Bitcoin Broker

    If you’re planning to conduct some research of your own before joining a Bitcoin broker, this is wise – as it will ensure that the platform is right for your needs. After all, no-two brokers are the same, so it’s crucial that you do a bit of homework.

    As such, be sure to make the following considerations prior to opening an account with your chosen Bitcoin broker.

    • Licensing

    If you decide to use a Bitcoin broker located in Vietnam, you will be using a platform that is unregulated. Why? Well, cryptocurrency exchanges are banned in the country. As such, we would strongly advise against you using an unlicensed broker, as there is every chance you will end up getting scammed.

    Instead, consider using a regulated platform based overseas. For example, Bitcoin brokers like eToro are regulated on three fronts (FCA, ASIC, CySEC), meaning that your investment remains safe at all times.

    • Supported Cryptocurrencies

    Although Bitcoin is still the de-factor cryptocurrency of choice, some traders like to create a diversified portfolio of coins. If this sounds like you, you’ll want to use an online broker that hosts other digital currencies too.

    • Payment Methods

    It’s crucial that you check to see what payment methods the Bitcoin broker supports. The easiest way to get money into an online trading site is via a debit or credit card. As such, if you’ve got a Visa or MasterCard to hand, you’ll be able to buy Bitcoin with a debit card in minutes.

    This is also the case if you have an e-wallet like Paypal, Skrill, or Neteller. If you’re keen to use your bank account to buy Bitcoin, this is fine – albeit, expect to wait a few days for the funds to clear.

    • Fees and Trading Commissions

    Regardless of where they are located, all online Bitcoin brokers charge a fee of some sort. At the upper end of the spectrum, platforms like Coinbase charge just under 4% when depositing funds with a debit or credit card. This means that a $400 deposit would cost you $16 in fees – and that’s before you factor in trading commissions!

    The good news is that much cheaper options do exist. For example, eToro allows you to deposit for free, and withdrawals cost just $5. Crucially, the platform does not charge any trading commissions when buying and selling Bitcoin, so it’s just the spread that you need to be made aware of.

    • Leverage and Short-Selling

    If you’re simply looking to buy Bitcoin with the view of holding the coins for many years, this particular section won’t be of much interest to you. However, if you want to trade Bitcoin against real-world currencies like the USD, then you might want access to more advanced features.

    This includes the ability to short-sell Bitcoin, meaning that you are speculating on the value of the asset going down. You might also want to apply leverage at your chosen Bitcoin broker site. This is where you get to trade with more than you have in your account. If this is the case, check to see what limits the broker offers.

    • Education and Research

    If you’re a complete newbie in the world of Bitcoin trading, then you’ll want to choose an online broker that offers a fully-fledged education hub. Platforms like eToro offer heaps of step-by-step guides and handy videos. In fact, the platform also runs cryptocurrency-specific webinars, so you’ll get the chance to ask expert traders a question of your own!

    • Customer Support

    If you do decide to use a regulated Bitcoin broker that is located overseas, there is every chance that it operates on a different timezone to Vietnam. As such, be sure to check what hours the customer support team works. After all, you don’t want to be waking up during the night just to get assistance on your account! Furthermore, it’s best to stick with Bitcoin brokers that offer a live chat facility, not least because calling a non-Vietnamese number could be costly.

    Other Ways to Buy Bitcoin in Vietnam

    Although using a regulated online broker is the safest and most convenient way of buying Bitcoin in Vietnam, an alternative option on the table is that of a peer-to-peer site.

    Peer-to-Peer Websites

    LocalBitcoins is the dominant force in the Vietnam peer-to-peer space. By opening an account and choosing how much Bitcoin you wish to buy, you can transact directly with a local seller.

    Here’s how it works:

    1. Head over to the LocalBitcoins website and open an account.
    2. Enter the amount of Bitcoin you wish to buy, alongside your preferred payment method
    3. You will then be presented with a list of sellers based in Vietnam that can service your request
    4. Assuming you opt for a local bank transfer, the seller will then deposit the Bitcoin into the escrow wallet of LocalBitcoins
    5. You will then need to transfer the funds. Once you do, notify the seller.
    6. Upon confirming receipt of the money, the Bitcoin will be released.
    7. You will then need to withdraw the Bitcoin to a private wallet.

    A number of sellers on LocalBitcoins will offer to meet you in person to exchange Bitcoin for cash. Never accept such a request, as there is always the chance that you will get scammed.

    Conclusion

    In summary, although Bitcoin is growing in popularity in Vietnam, domestic laws still prohibit the use of cryptocurrencies. As a result, this can make it extremely difficult to get your hands on Bitcoin for the first time. This has resulted in local cryptocurrency exchanges being forced to operate without a license, which you should avoid at all costs. Instead, your best bet is to use a regulated online broker that is licensed overseas. In doing so, you’ll be able to quickly buy Bitcoin with a debit/credit card or e-wallet, and your funds will remain safe at all times.

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    FAQs

    Is Bitcoin legal in Vietnam?

    Bitcoin is not legal in Vietnam as a means of paying for goods and services - as stated by the SVB. With that being said, you can invest in Bitcoin with a regulated overseas broker like eToro, as you will not be using the coins within Vietnam.

    What Vietnam payment methods can I use to buy Bitcoin?

    If you're using a regulated online broker based outside of Vietnam, you'll be able to use your everyday debit or credit card. You can also use an e-wallet like Paypal, or initiate an international bank transfer.

    Can I buy Bitcoin anonymously in Vietnam?

    In theory, yes - but it's not recommended. You will need to use a peer-to-peer website like LocalBitcoins, and then agree to meet the seller in-person to pay in cash. This is extremely risky, as you could get scammed.

    What is the minimum amount I have to invest to buy Bitcoin in Vietnam?

    If you decide to use our top-rated broker eToro, you'll need to deposit at least $200. This amounts to about 4.5 million VND. Take note, once you've met the minimum deposit amount, you can invest from $25 into Bitcoin.

    Can I buy Bitcoin with leverage in Vietnam?

    There are no laws restricting Vietnamese residents from applying leverage when trading online. As such, you can apply leverage up to the limits imposed by your chosen Bitcoin broker.

    Remember, all trading carries risk. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.
    Kane Pepi

    Kane holds academic qualifications in the finance and financial investigation fields. With a passion for all-things finance, he currently writes for a number of publications in the online space.

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