Vietnamese PM Approves Plan to Authorize Bitcoin As Form of Payment

Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has reportedly authorized a plan that could lead to the official recognition of digital currencies like Bitcoin as a form of payment in the country by 2018.

Based on a report by regional news services VNA, the prime minister has ordered the country’s central bank, the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Public Safety to study and draft a legal framework to regulate virtual currencies.

The assessment process is due for completion in August 2018. The preparation of legal documents needed for the recognition of cryptocurrencies under a regulatory framework should also be finalized by the end of the year.

Embracing digital currencies

Simultaneously, Vietnamese officials are mandated to work on a taxation system for digital currencies. The system, which will determine how virtual currency users in the country will be taxed, is due for implementation in June 2019.

Moreover, proposals on how to prevent and handle violations concerning the use of cryptocurrencies should be submitted for approval by September of the same year.

The plan also calls for the amendment of the 2015 Civil Code’s property rights provisions to include rules aimed at safeguarding Vietnam’s property rights. The amendment is expected to improve the protection of the rights and interests of both domestic and foreign investors.

Complete turnaround

The latest moves by the Vietnamese government to embrace digital currencies are a complete turnaround from the cautious viewpoint it expressed in 2014.

During that time, the country’s central bank has strongly warned consumers against the use of the cryptocurrencies. It reiterated that users would have no protection if they suffer investment losses. The bank has also prohibited credit institutions from offering any services related to virtual currencies.