Vietnam c.bank to research and pilot use of cryptocurrency

Ngoc Maihanoitime

Government agencies are working on a legal framework for the management of cryptocurrencies and assets.

The State Bank of Vietnam (SBV), the country’s central bank, will carry out research and later pilot the use of cryptocurrency based on blockchain technology during the 2021-2023 period.

 Vietnam does not see Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as legal payment methods. Source: File photo

The move was revealed in Prime Minister’s decision No.942 on the strategy for e-government development towards the digital government in the 2021-2025 period, in which the development and pilot use of cryptocurrency with blockchain technology is considered among key tasks to help Vietnam master core technologies.

At present, Vietnam does not have a specific definition of cryptocurrency and assets, while there are existing regulations that consider e-money in form of credit cards, e-wallet, or mobile money.

In many countries, virtual money such as Bitcoin or Etherum that were developed from blockchain technology has become a new investment channel alongside saving deposits or investing in the stock market and bonds.

Vietnam, however, does not see Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as e-money, as the SBV has reiterated several times that “they do not act as a kind of legal tender” in the country, and therefore, not accepted as a medium of exchange.

As of present, the SBV, Ministry of Justice, and Ministry of Finance are working on a legal framework for the management of cryptocurrencies and assets.

Under Decision No.42, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh also requested the Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC) to accelerate the R&D process of open platforms and sources for digital government.

The Ministry of Science and Technology and the MIC are expected to prioritize on development of certain core technologies that Vietnam has an advantage of, such as artificial intelligence (AI), blockchain, virtual reality/augmented reality (VR/AR), and big data.

PM Chinh assigned the two ministries to order digital firms developing new apps and techs to be incorporated into the digital government. 

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