Vietnam’s Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh called for new regulations for the crypto sector in a discussion group on Monday. Amendments to the country’s anti-money laundering law were discussed, according to local newspaper VnExpress. Lawmakers are pressuring the prime minister, as well as the Governor of the State Bank of Vietnam, the central bank of the country and the Minister of Justice, to clarify their position on virtual assets and blockchain technology.
Last month, Duong Van Phuoc, a delegate to the country’s National Assembly, argued for the inclusion of virtual assets in the bill, pointing out that they are used by large gambling and money laundering networks. Virtual assets currently operate in a regulatory gray area in Vietnam, and many policy proposals are in the works, said Huy Nguyen, vice chairman of the Vietnam Blockchain Association (VBA). VBA is working with the National Assembly to propose a tax on virtual assets as a first step towards recognizing virtual assets as property, Nguyen said.
Last year, the Vietnamese government commissioned the State Bank of Vietnam to launch a cryptocurrency pilot program. It also named blockchain as one of the technologies on the R&D priority list for its fourth national industrial revolution strategy. The country leads the world in mass adoption of cryptocurrencies, according to the Global Cryptocurrency Adoption Index 2022 by analyst firm Chainalysis. 69% of Vietnam’s population is unbanked and 73.5% of adults use smartphones.