Vietnam revisits the idea of engaging in cryptocurrencies by setting up a research group to explore the technology further
Vietnam’s Ministry of Finance has created a research group in charge of spearheading studies in virtual assets and cryptocurrencies. This group is led by Phạm Hồng Sơn, the deputy chairman of the State Securities Commission.
Aside from the State Securities Commission, the group also has representatives from the General Department of Taxation, the State Bank of Vietnam’s Department of Banking, Financial Institutions, and Legal Department, Vietnam Customs, and the National Institute for Vietnam Finance.
The call for increased research and proposals on public policy surrounding digital currencies is brought about by the rapid development of virtual assets in the local market. The increase prompted concerns about the risks and negative impacts on users.
A cryptocurrency market research company named CryptoCompare revealed that as of November 2017, roughly 80 percent of Bitcoin transactions originate from Asia— particularly from Japan, China, Vietnam, and the Republic of Korea. In addition, Vietnam was found to be one of the top five countries with the most access to cryptocurrency websites and trading platforms, besides the US, Japan, and Russia.
Vietnam’s first Bitcoin exchange, BitcoinVN, was established in 2019. It also developed the country’s first Bitcoin ATMs.
In an interview between Asian Blockchain Review, as well as the co-founder and COO of BitcoinVN, Dominik Wiel, Wiel explains that the country’s political stability, growing economy, and active youth are what drew the company to set up a presence.
“Vietnam is a strongly ascending market in Asia. Besides India, it had the fastest-growing economy in the world over the past decade, is politically stable, and has a very young population eager to adopt new technologies fast and willing to take risks.” Dominik said.
On August 21, 2017, the Vietnamese Prime Minister approved a project on the completion of a legal framework for managing cryptocurrencies, electronic currencies, and virtual assets.
Eight months later, on April 11, 2018, the government issued Directive No 10/CT-TT to increase the level of management related to Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, so as to minimize any risks and negative impacts associated with the transactions.
Just two days later, the State Bank of Vietnam’s Governor issued Directive No 02/CT-NHNN regarding the implementation of measures to increase their control over transactions related to cryptocurrencies. Credit institutions were asked not to supply certain categories of transactions related to virtual currencies so as to ensure compliance with established regulations on anti-money laundering and forex management.