Vietnam is the latest among smaller nations to have joined the crypto bandwagon as the country is developing a strategy towards having a digital government. In the last few weeks, countries such as El Salvador, Portugal, and Philipinnes have introduced regulations around cryptocurrencies.
Vietnam’s Prime Minister Phạm Minh Chính has asked the State Bank of Việt Nam to study and pilot implementing cryptocurrency based on blockchain technology by 2023. The Vietnam government’s decision to consider using cryptocurrencies and blockchain in creating a digital economy comes as a surprise as it was not in favor of these digital currencies until about last year. The Government had asked banks not to accept any cryptocurrencies as a mode of payment and had not given license to any crypto trading platforms.
Besides blockchain-based cryptocurrencies, Vietnam is also bullish on artificial intelligence (AI), big data, augmented reality, and virtual reality (AR/VR) to build a digital Government, as per local press reports.
The Ministry of Finance has set up a group to study virtual assets and cryptocurrencies under decision No 664/QĐ-BTC dated April 24, 2020, to propose policies and management mechanisms.
Huỳnh Phước Nghĩa, deputy director of the Institute of Innovation under the University of Economics HCM City, has said that it is time for the Government to study and carry out the pilot implementation for cryptocurrency.
The pilot implementation assumes importance as the country is pushing for a cashless payments economy as recognizing digital currencies by the central bank would help accelerate this process.
Along with Vietnam, the Philippines is another Southeast Asian country that wants to regulate cryptocurrencies even as India and China decide against it.
While Vietnam’s Government seems bullish about cryptocurrencies, there is no clarity on the details of the pilot program.
In Philipinnes, the national stock exchange is awaiting the guidelines to come in from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to govern the crypto or digital assets. Early this year, the Monetary Board of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) had reportedly reviewed and approved the applicable guidelines for virtual asset service providers (VASP) and other entities that facilitate financial services by using VASPs (also referred to as cryptocurrencies).
The new guidelines have updated the existing regulations (in the Philippines) on local virtual currency exchanges (VCEs) that were introduced back in 2017