Pham Minh Chinh, the prime minister of Vietnam, has reportedly said the country’s government should study crypto regulation in part based on residents continuing to trade digital assets despite their lack of legal recognition.
According to an Oct. 24 report from online news outlet VnExpress, Chinh hinted a bill on anti-money laundering, or AML, should recognize an amendment on virtual currencies given that “in fact people still trade” crypto in Vietnam. The prime minister’s comments suggested the Vietnamese government may consider crypto regulation to address its role in financial crimes.
“It is necessary to study appropriate sanctions, and assign the government to make detailed regulations,” reportedly said the prime minister.
The Vietnamese government largely does not recognize cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC) as a method of payments in the country, but allows tokens to reside in a seemingly legal gray area as investments. A Chainalysis report released in September showed that Vietnam ranked first among all countries in crypto adoption in both 2022 and 2021, with “extremely high purchasing power and population-adjusted adoption across centralized, DeFi, and P2P cryptocurrency tools.”
Some local lawmakers have pushed for the adoption of crypto assets as the space and adoption grew. In March, Deputy Prime Minister Le Minh Khai requested the Finance Ministry explore and amend laws aimed at developing a framework for cryptocurrencies. This followed an initiative announced by the prime minister in July 2021 directing the State Bank of Vietnam to study and conduct a pilot for a digital currency.
Vietnam’s National Assembly will discuss the AML bill on Nov. 1 and likely approve or disapprove it by the end of its 4th session on Nov. 15.