Some stores accept payment in cryptocurrency Pi but only partially and require buyers to pay mainly in cash.
“I saw a post selling a used iPhone 11 and thought I could buy it with a dozen Pi tokens,” Thanh Son of HCMC told VnExpress.
But it turned out he could only pay 10 percent with Pi and the remaining VND12.5 million ($35) had to be paid in cash.
“I can easily buy the same phone for VND12.5 million without spending a single Pi,” he said wistfully, adding it was a trick sellers used to entice Pi owners.
He later contacted some other sellers and got pretty much the same answer.
“Some places require a smaller proportion of cash but they undervalue Pi.”
Some investors had begun to claim they bought food and equipment using Pi on social media since July 13 when the cryptocurrency’s developers allowed it to be traded.
Cryptocurrencies are not legal tender in Vietnam, and issuing, trading or using one for payment attract fines of up to VND100 million.
Sellers try to avoid legal risks by calling deals using Pi “exchanges” rather than “transactions.”
A person who asked not to be identified told VnExpress they had put down a VND10 million deposit for a car after the dealer made an offer “exclusively for the Pi owner community.”
But the seller actually does not accept payment using Pi.
He reportedly told the person: “Once Pi enters the open mainnet phase, you guys, Pi owners, can offer it for legal tender. Then you bring the legal tender to us and take your car.”
The dealer claimed over 100 people had deposited. It is far from clear when, and if ever, the crypto will become legal tender.
There is a chance the people would lose their deposits, an expert warned.
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