HANOI, Vietnam (AP) -- Vietnam's government says transactions in bitcoin and other virtual currencies are illegal.
A central bank statement late Thursday warned against investing or carrying out transactions in the currency. It didn't spell out penalties.
The spread of currencies like bitcoin is unnerving financial regulators in Asia and elsewhere because they are outside of their control.
The collapse of a major bitcoin exchange in Tokyo this week has drawn renewed attention to the currency.
There are a few websites that claim to offer bitcoin in exchange for Vietnamese dong, but it's unclear whether they have done any trading so far.
Vietnam's diaspora sends home more than $10 billion yearly in remittances, which in theory could be sent in bitcoin if the currency were to take a broader hold.