Central bank: Cryptocurrencies are not accepted in Vietnam hinh anh 1Nghiem Thanh Son, Deputy Director of the SBV's Payment Department (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) –
The State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) has not accepted cryptocurrencies as a legal currency and a legal means of payment, said Nghiem Thanh Son, Deputy Director of the SBV's Payment Department.

In an interview granted to the Vietnam News Agency (VNA) on September 22, Son pointed to the fact that many businesses have mobilised investment in cryptocurrencies over the past time.

The possession, trading and use of cryptocurrencies as assets would pose risks to people since they are not subject to legal protection, he said, adding that the SBV recommended that organisations and individuals should not invest, keep and conduct transactions relating to cryptocurrencies.

According to the official, under the instruction of the Prime Minister, the Ministry of Justice has completed a project on the legal framework for managing cryptocurrencies.

The PM then assigned the Ministry of Finance to study and devise legal documents on virtual assets and cryptocurrencies.

The Governor of the State Bank of Vietnam on April 13, 2018 issued Directive No 02/CT-NHNN about measures to strengthen control over transactions related to cryptocurrencies in which credit institutions were asked not to supply some types of transactions related to cryptocurrencies to ensure compliance with established regulations about anti-money laundering and forex management.

The finance ministry has also decided to set up a research group which would be in charge of studying and proposing policies to manage virtual assets and cryptocurrencies.

The group had nine members, led by Vice Chairman of the State Securities Commission Pham Hong Son. Other members are from the State Securities Commission, General Department of Taxation, State Bank of Vietnam's Department of Banking and Financial Institutions and Legal Department, Vietnam Customs and National Institute for Vietnam Finance.

According to cryptocurrency market research company CrytoCompare, at the end of November 2017, about 80 percent of Bitcoin transactions were found to originate from Asia, mainly from China, Japan, the Republic of Korea and Vietnam. Access from Vietnam to cryptocurrency websites and trading platforms were in the top five highest in the world, beside the US, Russia and Japan./.