Regulators response to the blockchain hype in Vietnam
admin - August 8, 2018

As stated by Forbes magazine, Vietnam could emerge as one of the next blockchain hubs in Southeast Asia and across the globe. This would help attract foreign investors and international partners thanks to huge cryptocurrency transactions and a great labor force with strong caliber.

Last week, one of the biggest blockchain forums in Vietnam — “Blockchain Forum: Vision and Development” hosted by VNExpress and Ministry of Science and Technology at JW Marriott Hotel, attracted hundreds of international experts, entrepreneurs, and managers from the UK, Malaysia, China, Singapore, and other countries, to discuss the importance of blockchain technology to Vietnam’s development and how the government can catalyse the adoption in Vietnam’s near future.

Mr. Nguyen Van Binh, Head of the Party Central Committee’s Economic Commission opened the event

 

Mr. Nguyen Van Binh, Head of the Party Central Committee’s Economic Commission, shared in his inauguration speech that the development of emerging technologies has impacted the global political system and Blockchain is expected to play a role in future technology. Many countries have already adopted this technology and promoted its advantages in every aspect of their countries. As such, he explained that Vietnam needs to continue to monitor, encourage, and take the advantages of blockchain technology as well as study and develop policies and regulation framework to minimize associated risks.

Starting the first session with the topic, “How does blockchain technology change our world?” the audience was fascinated by the stories about how blockchain is adopted and developed in various countries such as Malta, the very first fully-regulated blockchain country in the world, China, the front-runner who already created their own national cryptocurrency, and also Hong Kong, Singapore, and Malaysia. The panelists all agreed that Vietnam plenty of talent and tremendous potential to develop blockchain technology. Banking and healthcare are the two first industries where Vietnam could leverage Blockchain into practical application.

Moving to the second session, the Vietnamese entrepreneur panelists shared their concerns regarding the legal framework for blockchain companies in Vietnam. As with other Vietnam enterprises in Vietnam, Mr. Long Vuong, Founder of Tomochain, an innovative solution to the scalability problem with the Ethereum blockchain, said being registered in Singapore makes investment calling from oversea companies easier access, meanwhile, Vietnam still does not have clear policies on investments.

Ms Nicole Nguyen, Head of APAC at Infinity Blockchain Ventures shared her opinion about blockchain ecosystem in the last 2 years

 

Ms. Nicole Nguyen, Head of APAC at Infinity Blockchain Ventures explained that “looking back to two years ago when every enterprise was very careful in communicating about blockchain, cryptocurrency, and related topics until the moment when all the policymakers, regulators, and entrepreneurs sat down together and shared about blockchain development. This forum and the third panel particularly are a significant move of the Vietnam government.” In moderating the third and the most awaited panel of the event, “What Vietnam should do to promote the development of blockchain technology and the role of ministry of science and technology,” the representative from Infinity Blockchain Ventures anticipated that all the panelists would share what the Ministers are going to do to encourage blockchain development in Vietnam in the near future.

From the perspective of Minister of Science and Technology (MOST), Mr. Dam Bach Duong, Chief of Department Department of High Technology, said “it is very necessary to have some in-depth researches and studies about Blockchain technology, its dominance, and also its correlated hazards. The MOST is building Project 844 about supporting national innovative national startup ecosystem to 2025, which will allow Blockchain to develop.” The minister also said MOST is open to listening to blockchain developers and enterprises to apply the technology for management agencies or discuss, make recommendations, and proposals to improve the legal framework for the technology, electronic money, and digital assets in the future.

As explained my Mr. Nguyen Thanh Tu, Director General of the Department of Civil and Economic Laws and Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Justice has stated under Resolution 23 that Vietnam should get a head start and quick shortcut in the industrial revolution 4.0, in which Blockchain should play a central role. However, governmental agencies also require a comprehensive blockchain mechanism along with its application in order to create appropriate solutions to encourage and support local enterprises.

Based on the current situation in Vietnam, there are four issues that need to be solved. Firstly, transaction and good purchasing on blockchain should be encouraged through national-level. Second, the government needs to encourage enterprises to apply blockchain into their businesses. Third, the regulatory framework should be created to protect all the involving parties. And lastly, all regulatory agencies need to review their current laws and policies to eliminate the articles which may limit the growth of emerging technologies.

Panelist in 3rd session “What Vietnam should do to promote the development of blockchain technology and the role of ministry of science and technology”

 

In agreeing with Mr. Nguyen Thanh Tu, Mr. Pham Tien Dung, the Director General of the Payment Department in the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV), also shared that Vietnamese regulators have been doing research and studies on blockchain and bitcoin for some time. To keep up with the new waves of technology, The State bank of Vietnam established the Fintech Steering Committee, which provides solutions to improve the system along with creating favorable conditions for fintech businesses in Viet Nam. In August it is expected that the Prime Minister of Vietnam will have the State Bank of Vietnam execute a sandbox testing for fintech ecosystem in Vietnam.

Mr. Dao Dinh Kha, Director General Department of Information Technology Ministry of Information and Communication, said the Ministry of Information and Communications plans to review the law on Information Technology and ensure a consistent approach although some local and international organizations have concerns about blockchain. “We need to thoroughly look at the advantages of blockchain and restrict any negative impact on the society,” he said. “Local enterprises also need to be confident about blockchain and understand it. Human resources training will also be needed for a long-term strategy.”

Mr Chu Ngoc Anh, Minister of Science and Technology’s closing speech

Closing the forum, Mr Chu Ngoc Anh, Minister of Science and Technology, said this event is targeted to create an open discussion on the potential, challenges, as well as the growth of blockchain technology. The discussions came from international and local experts as well as opinions from representatives of Vietnam policymakers and regulators.

The minister also expressed that they will implement related works to support the application of blockchain technology in society. The works include working with ministries to research and build a roadmap for the application of blockchain; learning from the experiences from other countries; consulting with the Party and the State to stimulate and control the adoption of blockchain technology in Vietnam; and supporting the development of blockchain technology to build e-government.

The MOST will prioritize supporting blockchain startups through executing the project “Supporting the national innovative start-up ecosystem by 2025.”

In moving towards a healthy and sustainable blockchain ecosystem, it is critical to use a joint effort from all major players including incubators, accelerators, community building etc. In hopes of nurturing potential blockchain projects and connecting all key players on the planet in the near future, IBV aims to be one of the main regional enablers to realize that goal and position Vietnam on the global blockchain map.

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