Vietnam's Prime Minister Says Country Needs to Regulate Crypto

Lawmakers have been pressuring Pham Minh Chinh to clarify his stance toward virtual assets, which aren’t recognized as property yet.

AccessTimeIconOct 26, 2022 at 2:59 p.m. UTC
Updated Oct 26, 2022 at 5:47 p.m. UTC

Vietnam Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh called for new rules to regulate the crypto sector in a discussion group Monday.

Chinh said that he was “impatient that virtual assets are not recognized, yet people continue to trade” them. He was discussing amendments to the country’s anti-money-laundering law, local newspaper VnExpress reported.

Lawmakers have been putting pressure on the prime minister, as well as on the governor of the State Bank of Vietnam, the country's central bank, and the minister of justice to clarify their stance toward virtual assets and blockchain technology.

Last month, Duong Van Phuoc, a delegate in the country's National Assembly, advocated for virtual assets to be included in a draft law, pointing out that large-scale gambling and money-laundering rings use them.

Virtual assets now operate in a regulatory gray zone in Vietnam, with many policy proposals in the works, Huy Nguyen, vice chairman of the Vietnam Blockchain Association (VBA), told CoinDesk.

The VBA is working with the National Assembly to propose a virtual-asset tax as a first step toward recognizing virtual assets as property, Nguyen said. Once that happens, “institutional money will flow in,” he said.

Last year, Vietnam’s government instructed the State Bank of Vietnam to start a crypto pilot program. It also named blockchain as one of the technologies on the priority list of research and development for its fourth Industrial Revolution national strategy.

The country leads the world in grassroots crypto adoption, according to blockchain analytics firm Chainalysis’ 2022 Global Crypto Adoption Index. Sixty-nine percent of Vietnam’s population is unbanked and 73.5% of adults use a smartphone.


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Lavender Au

Lavender Au is a CoinDesk reporter with a focus on regulation in Asia. She holds BTC, ETH, NEAR, KSM and SAITO.