Vietnam creates a cryptocurrency research group

The group will be in charge of carrying out a research and study work on cryptocurrencies and virtual assets in order to make policy proposals related to digital assets at the end of the process.

Vietnam creates a cryptocurrency research group

Are regulations necessary for cryptocurrencies?

Vietnam's Ministry of Finance announced on May 11 the creation of a nine-member group led by Pham Hong Son, Vice Chairman of the State Securities Commission. The group will be in charge of carrying out a research and study work on cryptocurrencies and virtual assets in order to make policy proposals related to digital assets at the end of the process. Among the members of the group are representatives of the General Tax Department, the National Institute of Finance of Vietnam, the Department of Banking and Financial Institutions of the State Bank of Vietnam and Customs of Vietnam.

Vietnam's relationship with cryptocurrencies has always been strained. In August 2017, the Prime Minister of Vietnam gave positive signals regarding cryptocurrencies and announced a plan to oversee the development of a legal framework for digital assets (including cryptocurrencies) with the aim of legalizing crypto assets in the country for August 2018. However, on April 11, 2018, Vietnam declared cryptocurrencies as an illegal means to transfer value, that is, people and companies cannot use cryptocurrencies to buy goods or services but if they are allowed to acquire crypto assets as private investments. This decision was made arguing the risks that cryptocurrencies pose in relation to money laundering.

Progress in developing the regulations that were promised in 2017 never came to fruition. Currently there is not even a regulatory framework that regulates cryptocurrency exchanges in the country: recently the Binance and Paxful exchanges are trying to give Vietnamese citizens access to the sale and purchase of cryptocurrencies. Binance announced in January the implementation of a payment system to facilitate the purchase of cryptocurrencies with the Vietnamese dong.