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Vietnam’s deputy PM calls for legal framework targeting digital assets

Vietnam’s deputy prime minister has instructed the country’s Ministry of Finance to build a legal framework to govern the digital currency industry.

In a recent notice, Le Minh Khai bestowed upon the Finance Ministry the authority to oversee the nascent industry in Vietnam. As part of its responsibility, the ministry must formulate a legal framework for the industry, taking into account the existing technology and financial regulations and proposing amendments if necessary.

As reported by Vietnam Net, Khai further instructed the Finance Ministry to work with other ministries on the initiative, including Justice, and Information and Communications. The State Bank of Vietnam must also be included in the process, which could finally give digital currency entities legal recognition and protection in the Southeast Asian country.

The latest initiative follows up on Decision 1255, which was issued in August 2017 by then-Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc. It sought the establishment of a legal framework to manage digital assets. Khai’s decree will further the study of the relationship between digital assets and physical assets, as well as the regulations that can apply to both.

Vietnam is a digital currency hub, with the Chainalysis Global Crypto Adoption Index ranking it as first globally for adoption with a perfect score of 1. The country ranked second for on-chain retail value received and third for peer-to-peer exchange trade volume.

Despite this aggressive adoption, the government has done little to encourage the growth of the local virtual assets market. Aside from Decision 1255, it has yet to implement any regulations to protect investors or encourage institutions to get into digital asset trading, even as neighboring countries like Thailand step up their oversight of the industry.

In 2017, the State Bank of Vietnam became among the first to ban digital currencies for payments, a move that Thailand has recently made.

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