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A Vietnamese university plans to accept bitcoin despite the ban on the central bank

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FPT, a private Vietnamese university, plans to accept the costs of bitcoin tuition with a solution to the central bank ban on the use of cryptocurrencies as payment instruments.

FPT University is a private academic institution with campuses in Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi and Da Nang, three major cities of Vietnam. According to the president of FPT University, Dr. Le Truong Tung, the university will soon begin to accept the bitcoin for tuition of foreign students, who shared the announcement on his page Facebook. With Bitcoin, Tung believes that foreign students can bypass strict currency controls in their respective countries.

Dr. Tung said:

FPT therefore decided to test by officially and concretely announcing the registration of foreign students to study in Vietnam made possible by using bitcoin as a means of paying tuition, [which would also] attract foreign students.

According to the head of the school, the university seeks to do research on crypto-currencies like Bitcoin as part of its curriculum, especially in the areas of finance , business management and banking. The planned acceptance of bitcoin and the use of cryptocurrency for research among its courses is a pioneering move for FPT, making it the first Vietnamese university to do so. As such, 100 foreign students are enrolled in the university, a meager 1% of the total number of students. Tung expects Bitcoin to help reinforce these figures as the university finds a way to accept cryptocurrency despite the recent legal frameworks of the central bank that prohibits bitcoin as a method of payment legal.

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To do this, foreign students would be forced to exchange bitcoins in Vietnamese dong, the currency of the country, before paying tuition fees. Alternatively, students will also be allowed to "give" their bitcoin to a bitcoin address or a university-owned portfolio, where the cryptocurrency will be changed to legal currency to fund their "scholarship".

Dr. Tung added:

In principle, FPT can open a bitcoin account allowing students to transfer bitcoin to school online … Later, when specific regulations are formally introduced, foreign students and Vietnamese can use [pay with] bitcoin. ]

Yesterday, the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV), the country's central bank, clarified its position to confirm that "Bitcoin and other virtual currencies are not legal means of payment in Vietnam", before to effectively prohibit "the issue,] the use of bitcoin." The authority also stated that the use of bitcoin as a means of payment will result in fines between VND 150 million – 200 million [approx. $9,000] and could also extend to criminal prosecution.

Disclaimer: Some statements are unofficially translated from Vietnamese.

Featured image from Wikimedia / ThuyNTP.