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06/07/2021

The Prime Minister assigned the State Bank to study and pilot virtual currencies

According to Decision 942 recently issued by the Prime Minister on the strategy of developing e-government towards the digital Government in the 2021-2025 period, the “research, construction and piloting of virtual currency based on Blockchain technology” is an in the tasks of research, development, and mastering of core technologies. According to this Decision, the research, development, and mastering of core technologies have 8 main contents assigned by the Government to the Ministry of Information and Media, the State Bank of Vietnam, Ministry of Science and Technology, and several other ministries, branches, and localities. In particular, the State Bank of Vietnam is assigned to lead the research, development, and pilot use of virtual money based on blockchain technology (blockchain) in the period of 2021 – 2023. Besides, the development of programs Research and application of artificial intelligence to create products and services with Vietnamese characteristics, create competitive advantages, and create a foundation to promote National Digital Transformation will be conducted by the Ministry of Science and Technology. For the promotion of research, development, and application of open-source and open-platform platforms for the Digital Government, the Ministry of Information and Communications will be in charge. In addition, both the Ministry of Information and Communications and the Ministry of Science and Technology are assigned to co-chair the selection of priorities and promote the research movement of some core technologies in which Vietnam has advantages, which can take shortcuts as well as have the ability to create powerful breakthroughs such as artificial intelligence (AI), blockchain and virtual reality/augmented reality (VR/AR), big data (Big Data) facilitate the application of advanced digital technologies in implementing digital government. Currently, Vietnam has no specific definition of virtual currency and virtual assets. Current regulations only mention the concept of electronic money anchored to fiat money, which exists in the form of prepaid bank cards, e-wallets, or Mobile Money. The State Bank of Vietnam has repeatedly affirmed, Bitcoin and other virtual currencies that are not electronic money at all, cannot perform the function of a legal currency in Vietnam. Since there is no official regulation, virtual currency is a virtual asset and not a legal means of payment. Currently, the State Bank of Vietnam, the Ministry of Justice, and the Ministry of Finance are clarifying the legal basis for managing the business of virtual currency and virtual assets. The Ministry of Finance has set up a research group on virtual assets and virtual money. In addition to virtual money, the State Bank of Vietnam also reiterated its views on Forex investment floors (the decentralized market for trading foreign currencies). Accordingly, the provision of foreign currency trading services, domestic and international foreign currency derivatives services must be licensed by credit institutions and commercial banks. Today, the agency has not licensed any Forex brokers. Therefore, organizations operating on the Forex floor are currently illegal and should be handled according to regulations. 

See details of Decision 942/QD-TTg here.

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