Disclaimer. This article has been updated to reflect that Vietnam is still working on crypto regulation, and that there is no current legal framework for cryptocurrency exchanges.

Vietnam’s largest distribution company Linh Thanh Group has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Swiss blockchain company KRONN Ventures AG to establish a cryptocurrency exchange, according to a press release published on March 22.

The collaboration is designed to facilitate the production of digital currency and the creation of a cryptocurrency exchange in Vietnam, to which the companies have supposedly received an appropriate license. According to the press release, the new exchange will be the first authorized crypto exchange to operate in Vietnam.

The establishment of an authorized cryptocurrency exchange could be a large step for the industry in Vietnam, as the government has previously taken a hard line against digital assets.

However, a source with information about the Vietnamese government has told Cointelegraph that there is no current legal framework for cryptocurrencies in Vietnam, and that the government is still working on regulation.

In July 2018, the country’s financial regulator, the State Securities Commission, forbade companies in the country to “engage in any issuance, transaction or brokerage activities related to cryptocurrencies.” The ban reportedly applied to public companies, securities companies, fund management companies and securities investment funds, and was issued as a result of official concerns over money laundering activities.

Vietnam’s Ministry of Finance (MoF) proposed a temporary ban on crypto mining hardware imports in early June of last year, citing the “very difficult” process of regulating newly mined digital currencies. The MoF aimed to protect citizens from crypto scams, following an alleged $660 million scam in April. The scam involved two initial coin offering projects headed by a Vietnam-based outfit. Following the proposal, the Vietnamese central bank, the State Bank of Vietnam announced it would suspend the import of cryptocurrency mining hardware.