Vietnam’s Ministry of Finance has agreed to establish a research group charged with studying and making policy proposals regarding cryptocurrencies and virtual assets. The group, which was announced on Monday, will be comprised of nine members led by the vice chairman of the State Securities Commission, Pham Hong Son.
The additional members include other representatives of the General Department of Taxation — the country’s securities regulator — the National Institute for Finance, the General Department of Vietnam Customs, and the Department of Banking and Financial Institutions of the State Bank of Vietnam.
The research group will help the country stay abreast of new developments within the rapidly evolving blockchain sector, allowing Vietnam to respond to regulatory challenges with greater agility.
Vietnam banned crypto in 2018
In August 2017, Vietnam’s prime minister approved a plan to oversee the development of a legal framework for cryptocurrencies by August 2018, indicating that crypto assets would be legally recognized within the country.
However, on April 11, 2018, Bitcoin was outlawed as a means of payment — meaning that while individuals and businesses were still free to make private investments in crypto, digital currencies could not be used to purchase goods or services.
Two days later a directive was issued mandating that credit institutions restrict the services provided to digital currencies to protect against money laundering risks. Vietnam has not formally updated its regulation since introducing the directives two years ago, with no regulatory framework currently existing for crypto exchanges in the country.
Exchanges are not regulated in Vietnam
Despite the lack of legislative framework, local firms have made attempts to establish exchanges in Vietnam over the years.