VN needs cryptocurrency laws

Saturday, Jan 06, 2018 08:36

Viet Nam is developing a legal framework to manage virtual currencies. — Photo

Deputy Prime Minister Vuong Dinh Hue has asked the Ministry of Justice and the State Bank of Viet Nam to hasten and complete the legal framework for managing virtual currencies in Viet Nam.

The report on the progress must be submitted to the Government for consideration before the end of January.

Virtual currencies, especially bitcoin, have sparked a fever worldwide.

According to cryptocurrency news website, the total market capitalisation of all cryptocurrencies reached a new all-time high on Wednesday to over US$700 billion.

Still, countries were divided on how to manage cryptocurrencies.

In Viet Nam, the bitcoin drew significant market attention despite experts’ warnings about its risks and the lack of a management framework.

At a National Assembly hearing in November, Governor of the State Bank of Viet Nam Le Minh Hung said under current Vietnamese regulations, bitcoin was not a legal tender or a permitted means of payment.

The central bank said the issuance and use of bitcoin and other similar virtual currencies for legal payment was prohibited in Viet Nam.

However, Hung said from the perspective of treating it as an investment asset, the central bank would co-operate with the Ministry of Justice to study the legal framework for managing the bitcoin.

In August, the Government approved a project to develop a legal framework to manage cryptocurrencies with an aim to protect legal rights of investors.

Accordingly, the nature of cryptocurrencies must be clarified. In addition, Viet Nam must learn from international experiences to develop the legal framework for managing virtual currencies to minimise risks, but at the same time ensure flexibility and promote innovation in the rapid technology development.

Most recently, China and South Korea have made moves to tighten the management of bitcoin.

Doan Duy Khuong, Deputy Chairman of the Viet Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said that bitcoin should be considered as a kind of goods and not a means of payment.

According Noah Eric Silverman, an expert in artificial intelligence from Hong Kong, many investors consider bitcoin as an investment asset. Others consider it as real money and accept it for payment, such as in Japan.

Silverman said that the Vietnamese Government should develop an appropriate legal framework to better manage bitcoin.

Besides the legal framework for bitcoin management, Hue urged the Ministry of Finance to complete the project on tax management of the non-State economic sector and expand the tax base of the private sector.

The Ministry of Planning and Investment was required to complete the economic statistical project to provide a comprehensive view of the economy. — VNS

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