Vietnam: Laws Related to Token Sales, Blockchain, and Digital Proof

Last year in October, the SBV issued a decree on cryptocurrency, which determined that digital currencies are not valid or legal means of payment. If one violates the decree, they can face fines of up to VND 200 million (US$9,000).

This year in January, the Vietnamese State Securities Commission (SSC) asked security-trading firms to stop providing any cryptocurrency services, including issuance, transactions, and brokerage. As of January 1, 2018, acts of issuing, supplying and using illegal means of payment can be criminally prosecuted.

In April, the government issued directives to a number of government entities such as SBV, Ministry of Industry and Trade, Ministry of Information and Communication, and Ministry of Justice regarding cryptocurrencies. SBV has asked credit institutions and intermediary payment services firms not to conduct transactions related to digital currencies. The Ministry of Justice will be responsible for developing a legal framework regarding digital currencies and virtual assets. As of now, the government is only focusing on virtual currencies and blockchain technology does not fall under the purview of the regulations (taken from Source 1 below).

Following the April directives, credit institutions and organizations providing intermediary payment services have to refrain from performing transactions related to cryptocurrencies and review and promptly report on suspicious transactions related to cryptocurrencies.

Public companies, securities companies, fund management companies and securities investment funds are also required to refrain from conducting listing, trading or brokering activities related to cryptocurrencies in contravention of law and comply with the law on anti-money laundering.

They also have to study international practice and experience to propose measures for handling capital mobilization through the initial coin offering (ICO), and coordinate with related agencies in restricting the import of equipment and machines used for cryptocurrency digging.

Credit institutions, foreign bank branches and intermediary payment service providers are required to work out their own plans to implement the measures specified in the Directive to control cryptocurrencies and report results to the State Bank’s Payment Department before June 30. (taken from Source 2 below).

In response to the SBV statement forbidding the use of cryptocurrencies as a payment instrument, Vietnam Bitcoin Company Limited, the owner of - a popular virtual currency exchange in the country, publishes on its website an announcement saying that it does not violate the law (taken from Source 2 below).


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