Vietnam's Prime Minister Says Country Needs to Regulate Crypto

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” in discussing amendments to the country’s anti-money laundering law, local paper VnExpress reported.

Lawmakers have been putting pressure on the Prime Minister, as well as on the governor of the State Bank and the Minister of Justice, to clarify their stance towards virtual assets and blockchain.

Last month, delegate Duong Van Phuoc 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 currently operate in a regulatory gray zone in Vietnam, with many ongoing policy proposals, Huy Nguyen, vice chair of Vietnam Blockchain Association (VBA), told CoinDesk.

The VBA is working with the country’s National Assembly to propose a virtual asset tax as a first step towards recognizing such 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.