Legal framework needed for virtual world

Tuesday, Sep 18, 2018 08:50

In Viet Nam, although the legal framework is still primitive, virtual property and currency are being traded widely.— Photo

Virtual deals in currency and property are still in their early stages.

That’s the message from Minister of Justice, Le Thanh Long who feels further study is need to iron out legal issues in the future.

Speaking at a conference on virtual property and currency in Ha Noi on Sunday, Long said specialists studied other countries to build a legal framework in Viet Nam.

There are many complicated legal issues and no uniform of virtual property and currency, Long said, adding the definition has not been included in any legal document and not issued by State Bank of Viet Nam.

Research showed there are three trends to access virtual property and currency including floating, unmanaged but giving some risk recommendations; no recognition, ban on use and transaction; allows the use and transaction but strictly managed in the business space as the trading floor.

In Viet Nam, although the legal framework is still primitive, virtual property and currency are being traded widely.

Although many investors are speculative and others may be trading fraudulently.

This is not unique to Viet Nam, as many countries also don’t have legal frameworks in place.

Kenneth Yeo, an expert from Singapore said authorities should approach and provide "soft" rules before finalising formal and rigorous legal frameworks. In particular, there could have regulations relating to anti-money laundering, tax evasion or customer identification.

This is the initial management that we think will benefit all parties including management agencies, clients or investors, he said.

Yeo added that, if viewed fairly, the European countries will have more open governance than Asian countries. The virtual currency market, virtual assets and related transactions are like "kids". Therefore, new rules need to be more open for its development, then consolidating and tighter regulations.

Chionh Chye Kit, founder and CEO of, said the World Bank has made recommendations to governments.

According to Chionh, the legal framework needs to strike a balance between ensuring creativity and protecting consumers.

So besides putting it into the framework for management, the Government should create conditions for creativity, he said.

Nicholas Dimitrion, Legal Director of HybridBlock, said lawmakers need a sensible approach to assess the impact on social life, and the economy.

The Government needs to assess the positive and negative aspects of virtual currency, thus offering solutions that are consistent with innovation and risk mitigation, he said.

Alice Chen, Strategic Director of the Singapore Blockchain Association, said gathering ideas would help be more complete, ensuring benefits of many parties.

Sharing Singapore’s experience, Alice said the government has no formal regulations. Nevertheless, Singapore has always been closely monitoring the operation of virtual currency, trading floors to assess the positive and negative side, incorporating anti-money laundering and fraudulent crimes. — VNS

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