By Quoc Hung – Translated by Kim Khanh
High speed internet germany
HCMC proposes developing five new railway lines
The Saigon Times
|A train is seen running on a rail track. The government of HCMC is working on a plan to propose the development of five new railway lines – PHOTO: VNA|
HCMC – The government of HCMC is working on a plan to propose the development of five new railway lines, with a focus on high-speed train routes, to cope with a high freight growth rate in the city.
These five railway lines include the HCMC-My Tho-Can Tho route; the HCMC-Tay Ninh route connected with the HCMC-My Tho-Can Tho route at the Tan Chanh Hiep Station in HCMC; the Thu Thiem-Long Thanh airport route; a high-speed railway on the north-south route, with sections with high demand such as HCMC-Nha Trang to be developed first.
The fifth route is a double-track rail line connecting the national railway line to the Hiep Phuoc Port in HCMC and the Long An international terminal.
This plan is part of a scheme, which was recently passed by the city’s government, to develop the logistics sector in the city until 2025 with a vision toward 2030, the Office of the municipal government announced on March 3, reported Sai Gon Giai Phong newspaper.
According to the scheme, the logistics costs of some sectors in HCMC remained high. For instance, the seafood sector’s logistics costs accounted for 30% of its operation costs. Roads within HCMC and those linking the city with major economic zones in the south are facing overloading, thus extending the time needed to transport goods and raising logistics costs.
Armed with little more than a smartphone and a dream, inexperienced cryptocurrency investors in Vietnam are hoping to hit it big with Pi – a cryptocurrency that can be mined from a phone.
As the crypto-craze in Vietnam continues being fueled by skyrocketing bitcoin prices and overnight millionaires, investors in the country are looking for low-barrier avenues to make their own fortunes on digital currency.
Enter Pi, a relatively new digital token that can be mined through the Pi Network app, advertised as “breakthrough tech [that] allows you to mine [Pi] on your phone without draining your battery.”
Unlike conventional cryptocurrency mining, which involves the use of significant computer power to verify the legitimacy of transactions in order to earn tokens as a reward, obtaining Pi only requires ‘miners’ to log into the application and tap a button every few hours.
With such a low barrier to entry, Pi mining has pulled in scores of Vietnamese crypto-newbies in recent weeks.
“We’ve missed the boat on bitcoin, so many of us have switched to mining Pi,” said Duc Danh, a Facebook user in Ho Chi Minh City.
“There’s nothing to lose.
“After a few years, if the project succeeds, each Pi could be worth dozens of U.S. dollars.”
Also in on the Pi hype is Vinh from Phu Nhuan District, a Pi miner who has recruited 70 other ‘miners’ and aggregated over 1,000 Pi coins for doing so as part of a Pi Network program akin to a multi-level marketing scheme.
“Pi mining costs nothing but bits of phone storage,” Vinh argued.
“What if the price shoots up to a few hundred U.S. dollars in the future?
“No one expected bitcoin to soar to $50,000.”
New members on the Pi Network receive one free Pi coin and start with a mining speed of 0.1 Pi per hour.
This velocity will increase with more accepted referrals, thus incentivizing users to gather as many new recruits under their umbrella as possible.
On Facebook, Pi Network groups have amassed hundreds of thousands of members curious about crypto mining, Pi’s identity verification system, and security.
K., a newbie in one of these groups, shared great optimism for the cryptocurrency.
“I learnt about Pi the other day on Facebook, and have had high hopes for it ever since,” he said.
Despite not being listed on big-name cryptocurrency exchanges, Pi’s trading value is already receiving real-world recognition, with one coffee shop in Ho Chi Minh City accepting the token as payment.
There are also reports of an e-commerce platform that accepts Pi as payment at a rate of VND100,000 ($4.5) for one Pi token, though the website was taken down on February 28.
No free lunch
Vietnamese users should take careful consideration before joining the Pi Network, said Dang Minh Tuan, a blockchain expert at the Posts and Telecommunications Institute of Technology in Hanoi, during a conversation with Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper.
The most obvious thing, according to Tuan, is the risk of giving away personal data to the app developers.
With a community estimated at over 15 million users worldwide, Pi is currently a gold mine of personal data that can be abused for targeted ads on Google, Facebook, and TikTok.
On top of that, Pi’s core team has not yet registered itself as a legal entity, which renders the contracts and ownership accords between users and Pi unprotected by law.
Pi has also not yet released its source code to the public, making the aggregate supply and demand of Pi tokens unidentifiable.
This indicates a huge risk for users involved because the developers have the power to inflate the currency as they please.
Sharing the skeptic’s view, financial expert Lam Minh Chanh sounded the alarm about scams in the likes of Onecoin, Skyway, or MyAladdinz.
According to Chanh, Pi is not completely free as users have to invest a great amount of time and phone resources.
They also face data security risks in return for the hopes of high investment returns that are fanned by vague speculation.
“Miners are unlikely to get rich. There is no free lunch,” he said.
According to Nguyen Hoang Minh, deputy director of the State Bank branch in Ho Chi Minh City, bitcoin and other similar types of cryptocurrency are not methods of payment compliant with law in Vietnam.
Issuing, supplying, and using bitcoin as well as other similar types of cryptocurrency as forms of payment are also prohibited.
Accordingly, users and suppliers of cryptocurrency in the country will be declared culpable and subject to penalties.
The Hanoitimes – The government also revealed a list of border gates and airports that will allow the entry of e-visa holders.
The Vietnamese government has made public a list of 80 countries whose citizens are eligible for e-visa to enter Vietnam as well as a list of international border gates that allow the entry of e-visa holders from July 1.
|Noi Bai International Airport prepares to welcome a number of foreign visitors once the regulation on issuing e-visa takes effect into July 1. Photo: Vietnam News|
The new regulation, Resolution No.79/NQ-CP, was issued by Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc in line with the Law on Entry, Exit, Transit and Residence of Foreigners in Vietnam.
Nationals of Austria, Poland, Belgium, Portugal, the UAE, Germany, India, South Korea, the US, Italy, Finland, France, China, Brazil, Canada, Russia, the UK, Japan, Spain, among others, are allowed to enter Vietnam if granted e-visas.
E-visas procedures are carried out at eight international airports, 16 international land border crossings and 13 sea ports across the country.
Eight airports that accept e-visas are Noi Bai, Tan Son Nhat, Cam Ranh, Da Nang, Cat Bi, Can Tho, Phu Quoc and Phu Bai.
Sixteen land border crossings processing e-visas are Tay Trang (Dien Bien province), Mong Cai (Quang Ninh province), Huu Nghi (Lang Son province), Lao Cai (Lao Cai province); Na Meo (Thanh Hoa province), Nam Can (Nghe An province), Cau Treo (Ha Tinh province), Cha Lo (Quang Binh province), La Lay, Lao Bao (Quang Tri province), Bo Y (Kon Tum), Moc Bai, Xa Mat (Tay Ninh province), Tinh Bien, Song Tien (An Giang province), and Ha Tien (Kien Giang province).
Thirteen seaports that accept e-visas are Hon Gai, Cam Pha in Quang Ninh province, Hai Phong, Nghi Son in Thanh Hoa province, Vung Ang in Ha Tinh province, Chan May in Thua Thien-Hue province, Da Nang, Nha Trang in Khanh Hoa province, Quy Nhon in Binh Dinh province, Dung Quat in Quang Ngai province, Vung Tau in Ba Ria-Vung Tau province, Ho Chi Minh City, Duong Dong in Kien Giang province.
The e-visa granting program for travelers from 40 countries was launched on February 1, 2017 and was piloted for two years.
The pilot scheme did not require foreigners to be sponsored or invited by organizations or individuals in Vietnam to be eligible for the e-visas as long as they have valid passports and are citizens of one of the 40 listed countries.
Foreigners are not required to show up at diplomatic missions of Vietnam in their countries, get interviewed or scan their fingers to apply for e-visas.
|Foreign citizens from 80 countries will be allowed to enter Vietnam using e-visa. Photo: Tienphong Online.|
Until now, Vietnam has suspended entry for all foreign citizens to prevent and control the Covid-19 pandemic. Only Vietnamese citizens, foreigners on diplomatic and official business, and highly-skilled laborers are allowed to enter the country. Everyone entering the country must comply with medical checks and the compulsory 14-day quarantine upon arrival.
Due to Covid-19, all foreigners who entered Vietnam after March 1 on visa exemptions, e-visas or tourism visas will be given automatic stay extensions at no charge until June 30.
“After June 30, if the situation of the pandemic does not improve or the transportation and healthcare policies of other countries remains unchanged, we will continue to propose to extend validity period of the policy,” Senior Colonel Dang Tuan Viet from the Immigration Department told Vietnam News.