Experts divided on recognizing bitcoins, VN central bank says no

Last update 16:00 | 01/09/2017
VietNamNet Bridge – Hundreds of thousands of retail points in Japan are accepting payments in bitcoin for both online and on-the-spot transactions. vietnam economy, business news, vn news, vietnamnet bridge, english news, Vietnam news, news Vietnam, vietnamnet news, vn news, Vietnam net news, Vietnam latest news, Vietnam breaking news, bitcoin, SBV, Ministry of Justice

The Vietnamese government has approved a plan for a legal framework to manage and deal with electronic money, virtual assets and currencies. This has raised hopes that bitcoin and other virtual currencies would be accepted for legal payment in Vietnam.

Vo Minh Hoang, a gamer in HCMC, said bitcoin is being used by gamers all over the world. There are games that allow people to play and receive bitcoins, while other games allow users to buy game products with bitcoins.

Tran Manh Thang, a bitcoin miner, said the use of virtual currencies brings big benefits because it cuts costs, speeds up transactions and prevents counterfeit money.

The State Bank began researching virtual currencies in 2013. In 2014, it stated that bitcoin and other virtual currencies must not be considered as a kind of money and the use of bitcoin in payment must not be protected by law.

“If you remit money to relatives or friends via banks, you will have to pay a fee. But with bitcoin, this will be free of charge,” he said. “Bitcoin can be remitted and received immediately anywhere in the world.”

An e-commerce expert in HCMC commented that virtual currency remains unfamiliar to Vietnamese. To use bitcoin, one must create a wallet and conduct transactions on computing devices.

Because of the anonymity, no one can control the use of bitcoin and other virtual currencies. Thus, criminals can use it as a trading method. Hackers may attack virtual currency floors to steal money in large amounts, while money laundering can happen easily.

“Virtual currencies bring benefits, but they also bring high risks. However, I think it is necessary to think of solutions to control them instead of neglecting them,” the expert said.

Meanwhile, the State Bank maintains its stand that bitcoin must not be recognized in Vietnam as a legal currency.

An official of the State Bank told the press that once the Ministry of Justice, which has been assigned by the government to work on the legal framework on electronic and virtual currencies, finishes the compilation of legal documents, it will have to collect opinions from relevant ministries. At that time, the bank will offer its official view.

The State Bank began researching virtual currencies in 2013. In 2014, it stated that bitcoin and other virtual currencies must not be considered as a kind of money and the use of bitcoin in payment must not be protected by law.

However, lawyer Nguyen Van Hau, deputy chair of the HCMC Bar Association, said the State Bank has not released any legal document which says the trading of bitcoin and the payment in bitcoin is prohibited. Therefore, the use of bitcoin by institutions and individuals in Vietnam is not considered illegal in the country.

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M. Ha

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