Cryptocurrency is referred to a wide array of technological developments that utilize a technique better known as cryptography. In simple terms, cryptography is the technique of protecting information by transforming it (i.e. encrypting it) inlớn an unreadable format that can only be deciphered (or decrypted) by someone who possesses a secret key. Cryptocurrency is secured via this technique using an ingenious system of public và private digital keys. However, no generally accepted definition has been agreed so far. In particular, World Bank has classified cryptocurrencies as a subset of digital currencies, which is defined as digital representations of value that are denominated in their own unit of account, distinct from e-money, which is simple a digital payment mechanism, representing and denominated in fiat money. Meanwhile, the European Banking Authority has suggested to lớn refer lớn cryptocurrencies as virtual currencies, which it defines as digital representations of value that are neither issued by a central bank or public authority nor necessarily to a fiat currency but are used by natural or legal persons as a means of exchange và can be transferred, stored or traded electronically<1>.

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There is no definition of cryptocurrency under the laws of Vietnam giới. Nevertheless, cryptocurrency has been proving its popularity in Vietnam giới, after a report on survey results released by Statista, a global provider of market & consumer data, says that 21 percent of respondents in Vietnam giới said that they used or owned cryptocurrency in 2020, second after Nigeria (32 percent).


However, there are some restrictions with regards to cryptocurrency in Vietnam, most notably, its regulations.

Is cryptocurrency considered as legal property or payment instrument in Vietnam?

Under the laws of Vietphái nam, cryptocurrency is neither legal property nor payment instruments.

Particularly, under Article 105 of the Civil Code năm ngoái, property is defined as below:

1. Property comprises objects, money, valuable papers and property rights.

2. Property includes immovable property and movable property. Immovable property and movable property may be existing property or off-plan property”.

Article 17 of the Law on the State Bank of Vietnam giới provides that “the State Bank of Vietnam giới is the sole agency entitled to issue banknotes & coins of the Sociadanh sách Republic of Vietphái nam. Banknotes và coins issued by the Stale Bank of Vietphái mạnh are lawful means of payment on the territory of the Sociacác mục Republic of Vietnam”.

In addition, Article 1 Decree No. 80/2016/ND-CPhường, amending the Decree No. 101/2012/ND-CPhường, on non-cash payments provides that“Non-cash payment instruments in payment transactions (hereinafter referred to as payment instruments), including cheques, payment orders, collection orders, ngân hàng cards và other payment instruments as prescribed by the State Bank of Vietphái nam. Illegal payment instruments are payment instruments not included in Clause 6 of this Article”.

In practice, the State Bank of Vietphái mạnh has not, so far, defined or named the so-called “other payment instruments”. Consequently, only cheques, payment orders, collection orders, bank cards or any other payment instrumentswhich are named or defined by the State Bank of Vietnamare payment instruments. Since cryptocurrency has never been named or defined as the payment instrument by the State Bank of Vietphái nam, it is not considered as legal non-cash payment instrument.

Furthermore, on 21st July 2017, the State Bank of Vietphái nam reaffirmed its opinion on the legal status of cryptocurrency in Vietnam, when issuing the Dispatch No. 5747/NHNN-PC lớn the Government Office in response to a question about Bitcoin, Litecoin, và other virtual currencies. Particularly, the Dispatch said“As stipulated in Vietphái mạnh legislation, cryptocurrencies in general, or Bitcoin and Litecoin in particular, are not currencies & bởi not act as lawful means of payment”.

Most recently, the State Bank of Vietphái mạnh issued a directive<2>, requesting organizations issuing ngân hàng cards, intermediary payment service providers, và representative offices of foreign banks to supervise, inspect & check card transactions arising at merchants in order to prevent, among mỏi others, thẻ transactions that are not in accordance with the provisions of the laws (relating lớn prize-winning games, gambling, betting, foreign exchange business, securities, virtual or digital currency...).

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What are the risks associated with cryptocurrency trading in Vietnam?

Currently, the Government of Vietnam has not yet issued license lớn any organization wishing to vì cryptocurrency business in Vietphái mạnh.

In a press conference on monetary policy and banking operations in the first quarter of 2019. Mr. Nghiem Thanh hao Son, Deputy Director of Payment Department of the State Bank of Vietnam giới verbally affirmed that the State Bank of Vietphái nam has not yet issued any license to any company wishing lớn vày cryptocurrency business in Vietphái nam.

Running cryptocurrency business has been excluded by Vietnam giới in the Schedule of WTO Commitments, và in the absence of Vietnamese legislation on this kind of business, any investor wishing to vày cryptocurrency business in Vietnam giới is requested khổng lồ consult with & obtain the approval from various competent authorities in Vietnam, including Ministry of Planning and Investment, the Ministry of Finance, the State Bank of Vietnam; and other relevant Ministry (if any) in accordance with clause dd, Article 10, Decree 118/2015/ND-CPhường.

Doing cryptocurrency business in Vietphái nam without license shall be subject lớn administrative sanctions in accordance with the laws of Vietphái nam. Specifically, any investor doing cryptocurrency business in Vietphái nam without license shall be subject khổng lồ an administrative sầu penalty of VND50,000,000 to lớn VND100,000,000 & the foreign exchange operations of the credit institution shall be suspended for three lớn six months.

In addition, according to point h, Clause 1, Article 206, Criminal Code 2015 (amended và supplemented by Criminal Code 2017)on the offense against regulations of law on banking operations và banking-related activities, from 1st January 2018, anyone who commits acts including issuing, supplying or using payment instruments causing damage to other people (including enterprises) from VND100,000,000 to lớn VND300,000,000 shall be fined from VND50,000,000 to lớn VND300,000,000 or imprisoned for six months to three years.

Any future for cryptocurrency in Vietnam?

Cryptocurrency is revolutionizing the global payment industry, by allowing online payments khổng lồ be sent directly from one tiệc ngọt to lớn another without going through a financial institution serving as trusted third tiệc nhỏ lớn process electronic payments. Backed by an electronic payment system based on cryptographic proof instead of trust, it avoids inherent weaknesses of the trust-based mã sản phẩm.

However, Vietphái mạnh seems to take very cautious steps towards cryptocurrency as cryptocurrency is alleged to have no government supervision & therefore prone to illegal activities, such as tax evasion, money laundering, terrorist funding & hacking, and that cryptocurrency might possess the capathành phố khổng lồ destabilize existing financial systems which can affect the nation’s economy.

While cryptocurrency trading và use are booming globally in terms of popularity, Vietnam can not st& outside the game, and one of the most recent actions in response to lớn cryptocurrency is that the Ministry of Finance established a retìm kiếm group on March 30, 2021, led by Mr. Psay đắm Hong Son, Vice-Chairman of State Securities Commission, to conduct an in-depth study of cryptocurrency, with a view lớn achieving legislative sầu rekhung for the industry in the country.

In practice, the current transition of Vietnam’s economy offers a particularly favorable context for cryptocurrency, when non-cash payment has been increasingly with many apps, QR codes, & e-wallets such as Moca, Momo, or ZaloPay. The retìm kiếm on cryptocurrency seems to be backed by the Directive No.22/CT-TTg dated May 26, 20đôi mươi figuring out measures to accelerate the implementation of a scheme on development of non-cash payment in Viet Nam, after 5 years of implementing the Decision No. 2545/QD-TTg dated 30 December năm nhâm thìn, approving a scheme on development of non-cash payment for the period of 2016-20đôi mươi with an ambitious goal of slashing the ratio of cash khổng lồ total payment instruments to lớn below 10%.

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Even with recent active sầu responses, by the Government of Vietphái nam, lớn the booming of cryptocurrency in Vietphái mạnh, the future of cryptocurrency is not secure & reliable in the country until regulatory frameworks are put in place.