A bitcoin is seen on a computer keyboard. The Government is working on a policy to introduce the management of virtual currency and assets


There have existed many types of virtual money, or digital money, as some companies have introduced their own digital money, such as Facebook with its Libra, and one of the most well-known is Bitcoin.

At the workshop, jointly held by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW), the Ministry of Finance and Ernst & Young Vietnam, Nguyen Canh Thanh of the Department of Economic-Civil Legislation in the Ministry of Justice, said the Government decided two years ago to approve the scheme on perfecting the legal framework concerning virtual money and asset management. The plan was assigned to five ministries.

Vietnam has yet to introduce an official legal document regulating virtual money and assets. Under current laws, virtual money and assets are not considered a means of payment, Thang said.

Transactions involving virtual money are still ongoing, but there are no grounds to handle violations which occur. The central bank is currently studying a legal framework to test banking technologies.

However, to have effective management of virtual money, it is essential that its nature be thoroughly studied and regulations be built on the existing legal framework, he said.

According to Thang, to ensure related obligations and good management, mechanisms should be tested. Under the Constitution and relevant laws, the restriction of the rights of organizations and individuals is performed through laws. A certain scheme can be developed into a decree, and then be considered to become a law. In case both options are impossible, relevant regulations can be amended.

Also, sanctions need to be taken into account, Thang said.

Countries have not had specific regulations on virtual money and assets, nor had management mechanisms to test, such as in Japan and Thailand. Therefore, Thang said it is crucial that such management be carefully studied, as the industry has many development opportunities but, at the same time, must also be aware of risks.

The Government should not only improve the legal framework, but also make people aware of risks concerning virtual money. Thang added that Vietnam’s management orientation of such a currency is to perfect the related legal framework to reduce risks. SGT

Van Ly