Vietnam is treading waters into the cryptocurrency industry, as the government recently commissioned a research group for the purpose. The Vietnamese Ministry of Finance is conducting an in-depth study of cryptocurrencies for regulation purposes.
One Million Vietnamese Are Reportedly Crypto Users
According to ASEAN Briefing, the ministry seeks to gather enough data to clearly see how a regulatory process can be made in the country. The research comes in the wake of virtual currencies booming globally in terms of popularity, says the announcement.
The government believes there is an estimated one million Vietnamese already using digital assets, and the expectations are bullish with a 30-fold increase by 2030.
Vietnam is also witnessing increasing cashless solutions for payments, such as QR codes, e-wallets, and mobile apps. Such technology adoption was boosted after the government’s pushing via the prime minister since 2017, who was expecting to reduce cash transactions by 90% in 2020.
The study will focus on the following topics, which will be centered on the existing legal frameworks in the United States, Japan, and Europe:
To understand the cryptocurrency industry; To recognize the existence of cryptocurrencies by amending the current law; To build transparent, predictable, and efficient regulations; To build responsive legislation concerning the high variability of the market; (…) To recommend structural adjustments by creating mechanisms to monitor the cryptocurrency market through skilled supervisory bodies; (…) To recommend tools to these supervisory bodies, namely powers to issue, suspend or revoke licenses, to regulate business practices, and to report suspicious activities.
Crypto Crimes ‘On the Rise’ in Vietnam
However, the country’s wishes to regulate the digital currency environment come in hand with concerns among the government about crypto-related crimes, including cyber hacks and scams.
The announcement cites the case of Modern Tech, a domestic startup that scammed around $660 million from thousands of Vietnamese through initial coin offerings (ICOs). It adds:
Therefore, implementing a legal device to manage and handle virtual assets is the current challenge of Vietnam. It would also set boundaries to abusive cryptocurrency transactions, which is the government’s main concern.
As of press time, Vietnam doesn’t recognize cryptocurrencies as a legal means of payment or a tangible asset. In fact, the State Bank of Vietnam labeled bitcoin (BTC) and other digital currencies as illegal, and people using them for trading purposes could face fines of up to $8,700 and jail time.
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