Prime Minister Pham Minh Chin has asked the State Bank of Vietnam to study and pilot the implementation of a blockchain-based cryptocurrency.
This was highlighted in the Prime Minister’s decree on the development strategy towards digital government. Blockchain-based cryptocurrency is among the mainstream technologies, and Vietnam hopes to develop and master it, as well as artificial intelligence (AI), big data, augmented reality and virtual reality (AR / VR), which are expected to create favorable conditions for building digital government.
There were no specific definitions for cryptocurrency and virtual assets in Vietnam. Over the years, the State Bank has emphasized that cryptocurrencies, including bitcoin, are not legally recognized in Vietnam, and the use of cryptocurrencies as a means of payment is also not recognized or protected by law in the country. The central bank asked lending institutions not to use cryptocurrencies as a type of currency or means of payment. To date, the central bank has not issued any licenses for any cryptocurrency trading platform.
The Ministry of Finance created a group to study virtual assets and cryptocurrencies in accordance with Decision dated April 24, 2020 to propose policies and governance mechanisms. According to Huang Phyuk Nhya, deputy director of the Institute of Innovation at the HCM City University of Economics, it is time for the government to study and pilot the cryptocurrency. “Digital money is an inevitable trend.”
Currently, traditional currencies, including the US dollar, euro and yen, have a greater impact on the global currency basket and international trade. However, in the race to develop and apply new technologies, countries like Vietnam had a chance to rise and make a new impact on the global financial system. The pilot implementation will help the government find positive and negative aspects, if any, while developing a more suitable governance mechanism, specialist said, adding that while non-cash payments are on the rise in Vietnam, the recognition of digital currencies by the central bank will help accelerate the process.
The study of cryptocurrency needed to be accelerated to gain the edge in the race, said the deputy chief of the finance department at Le Dy University. He cited a survey that showed central banks around the world have three different responses to cryptocurrency. The first group, which included 65-68 central banks, piloted the use of cryptocurrencies; the second began to develop a pilot implementation plan; and the third group was still watching. Vietnam moved from the third group to the second.
NextTech Group Chairman Nguyon Hoa Binh said it is necessary to have an official definition of cryptocurrency. There were various definitions that could cause confusion, including virtual currency, digital currency, cryptocurrency, electronic money, and digital money.