Vietnam's premier exchange Bitcoin Vietnam Co Ltd has added wallet functionality in a bid to make storage simpler and encourage day-to-day digital currency spending in the country.
Notably, users of Bitcoin Vietnam Wallet will be able to send bitcoins to others on the platform in instant 'off-chain' transactions using recipients' bitcoin or email addresses. Off-chain transactions occur near instantly, outside the bitcoin block chain with its delayed confirmation times.
Users will also be able to sell the bitcoins in their wallets directly on the Bitcoin Vietnam exchange, without needing to switch between them.
Wallets are secured with mandatory two-factor authentication with a multi-level storage system that keeps a certain percentage in cold storage.
CEO Nguyen Tran Bao Phuong said the wallet would help empower Vietnam's economic players with their "specific needs", describing the country as one of the world's most ambitious emerging markets with a very young workforce.
There is "palpable economic progress every year," she added.
COO Dominik Weil said it was sometimes daunting for newcomers to bitcoin to understand the basics of secure storage, something that needs to be overcome before new users even consider exchanges. Bitcoin Vietnam's wallet, he continued, seeks to lower the entrance hurdle. He also noted that a wallet has been one of the features most commonly requested by users.
Weil told CoinDesk that Vietnam has several specific conditions that could make bitcoin's success easier there. 45% of the population is under 25, the country's middle class is expanding and growing wealthier every year, and use of technologies like smartphones is growing exponentially.
Asian societies were in general hungrier for development and change, and thus offered a better environment for entrepreneurs looking to execute ideas, he added.
Building a bitcoin economy
Bitcoin in Vietnam is still in relative infancy, and its local infrastructure is not yet as sophisticated as more economically liberal countries. So far, only a few local companies and brick-and-mortar traders have started accepting the digital currency for payments.
Despite an uncertain start, Vietnam's regulators have also made progress with bitcoin in recent months. The State Bank of Vietnam is currently working in cooperation with the relevant unit of the Department of Public Security to define appropriate regulations for bitcoin usage.
Bitcoin Vietnam Co Ltd and VBTC have also participated in discussions with the authorities. Furthermore, formation of a local chapter of the international Bitcoin Foundation is planned in the near future.
Bitcoin Vietnam launched in March this year with a fixed-price bitcoin brokerage, and has expanded since then. Its services are available in Vietnamese, English and German.
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