|The pilot implementation of cryptocurrency is being studied, which is expected to push up cashless payment and the formation of a digital Government. — Photo thanhnien.vn|
HÀ NỘI — Prime Minister Phạm Minh Chính has asked the State Bank of Việt Nam to study and carry out pilot implementation for cryptocurrency based on blockchain technology in the 2021-23 period.
This was highlighted in the Prime Minister’s Decision No 942/QĐ-TTg about the e-Government development strategy towards a digital Government.
Cryptocurrency based on blockchain is among core technologies Việt Nam hopes to develop and master, as well as artificial intelligence (AI), big data, augmented reality and virtual reality (AR/VR), which were expected to create significant breakthroughs as well as favourable conditions for building a digital Government.
There were no specific definitions for cryptocurrency and virtual assets in Việt Nam. For many years, the State Bank had stressed that cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, were not legally recognised in Việt Nam and the use of cryptocurrencies as a means of payment was also not legally recognised and protected in the country.
The central bank asked credit institutions not to use cryptocurrencies as a type of currency or a means of payment.
To date, the central bank has not granted licences for any cryptocurrency trading platforms.
The Ministry of Finance set up a group to study virtual assets and cryptocurrencies under Decision No 664/QĐ-BTC dated April 24, 2020 to propose policies and management mechanisms.
According to Huỳnh Phước Nghĩa, deputy director of the Institute of Innovation under the University of Economics HCM City, it’s time for the Government to study and carry out pilot implementation for cryptocurrency. “Digital money is an inevitable trend.”
Currently, traditional currencies, including the US dollar, euro and yen, had greater influence on the world currency basket and international trade. However, in the race to develop and apply new technologies, there was chance for countries like Việt Nam to rise and have a new influence on the global financial system.
The pilot implementation would help the Government find positive and negative aspects, if any, while developing a more appropriate management mechanism, Nghĩa said, adding that while cashless payments were increasing in Việt Nam, the recognition of digital currencies by the central bank would help accelerate this process.
The study of cryptocurrency needed to be accelerated to gain advantages in the race, Lê Đạt Chí, deputy head of the university’s Finance Faculty, said. He cited a survey which found that central banks around the world were having three different responses to cryptocurrency. The first group, which included 65-68 central banks, were piloting cryptocurrency use; the second was starting to develop a plan for pilot implementation; and the third group were still observing. Việt Nam was moving from the third group to the second group.
However, there were risks to financial and monetary security, Chí said.
Nguyễn Hòa Bình, chairman of NextTech Group, said that it was necessary to have an official definition for cryptocurrency.
There were different words which might cause confusion, including virtual currency, digital currency, cryptocurrrency, electronic money and digital money. — VNS