Legalizing cryptocurrency remains a topic of substantial debate on a global scale. Although Japan successfully legalized cryptocurrencies a while back, no other country has suddenly felt the need to do the same. Vietnam is one country which plans to fully legalize all cryptocurrencies in the not-so-distant future. The government will also legalize digital assets, which bodes well for ERC20 tokens, among others. The appropriate regulation will take effect by August 2018.
It is good to see the Vietnamese government pay attention to cryptocurrency and digital assets in a positive manner. Far too often do we see national regulators take a harsh stance against Bitcoin and similar currencies because they cannot be controlled. That particular aspect has many people concerned, although their efforts to regulate cryptocurrency will always be in vain. For its part, Vietnam plans to legalize cryptocurrencies accompanied by “appropriate regulations” by August 2018. While a positive development, these plans are also rather vague.
On August 21st, the Vietnamese prime minister officially signed the plan to fully legalize digital assets and cryptocurrencies. This plan requires many different aspects to come together. Both the Ministry of Justice and the State Bank of Vietnam will review the legal status of digital assets and cryptocurrencies as they are today. With no official legal framework to work with, it remains to be seen how they will evaluate the possibilities and risks associated with this new form of money. Both entities will take regulatory stances by other countries – including Japan – into consideration before creating their own framework.
It is expected that there will be some form of taxation guidelines for cryptocurrencies and digital assets in the future. Said guidelines could go into effect as early as June 2019, although that is still a tentative date for now. The Ministry of Public Security will draw a plan to prevent the illegal use of cryptocurrencies and digital assets. It will also develop legal grounds to successfully prosecute any violation of these new laws. That is a positive aspect, as cryptocurrencies are too often associated with criminal activity. Punishing criminals through the justice system may prevent such activities from taking place in the future.
As one would expect, cryptocurrency enthusiasts in Vietnam are quite elated about the news. A lot of people are convinced the government will do the right thing and ensure cryptocurrencies and digital assets can thrive in the country for many decades to come. This news is also considered an acknowledgment by the country’s government of the legality of cryptocurrencies. With the regulatory uncertainty in Vietnam today, many businesses and consumers had steered away from Bitcoin and other assets. That situation will hopefully change once the new regulations are in place.
Bitcoin Vietnam’s Phil Trinh commented:
“We are excited to hear the news. We have been looking forward to the legalization of cryptocurrencies in Vietnam for so long. It’s always better to do business in a field that is fully regulated and protected by government. We are also aware of the difficulties that the Government is facing in this completely new area. How the law can encourage the Vietnamese Fintech startups and at the same time can ensure the public security as well as the country’s financial stability is what the lawmaker has to work out. Bitcoin Vietnam is willing to share our expertise and experience with the Government to help the plan become realized faster.”
All things considered, it is still strange to see cryptocurrency regulation originating from Asian countries first and foremost. Here in the U.S., we have the horrible Bitlicense requirement which clearly needs to be revised. Europe remains suspiciously quiet on the regulatory front as far as cryptocurrencies are concerned. We will likely see more of these regulatory efforts in the coming years. Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies can no longer be ignored by governments.
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