Vietnamese Authorities Conflicted About Regulating Cryptos

Representations of the Ripple, Bitcoin, Etherum and Litecoin virtual currencies are seen on a PC motherboard in this illustration picture, February 13, 2018. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

It seems that Vietnam’s authorities are being pulled in different directions concerning cryptocurrencies. In an attempt to clarify the crypto space in the country, the Vietnamese Ministry of Justice has issued several proposals on how to regulate the nascent industry. Some of the solutions have met with strong opposition while some have found acceptance among the various authorities.

Much of the debate revolves around Vietnam’s stance towards the country’s recent ban on importing crypto mining equipment and rigs, that was proposed by the Finance Ministry. The Ministry proposal was proposal was strongly supported by the State Bank of Vietnam and the Ministry of Public Security. The support of the ban was criticized by the Ministry of Industry and Trade, who did not want to a suspension of  the importation of mining equipment. The Ministry of Industry and Trade believed that the ban would impact all industries using such hardware.

A counter-proposal was made to the Prime Minister’s office by the Ministry of Industry and Trade. The proposal stated that a study needed to be conducted without the haste of a rushed ban on the equipments importation, the study would classify the different hardware involved. This resulted in the  Ministry of Information and Communications creating two categories, ASICs and GPUs, making note that video cards may be used outside of crypto mining.

The Vietnamese Ministry of Justice submitted its own proposal to the government in Hanoi. The proposal has suggested three different policies which have applied in different parts of the world.

The first, being a “floating” policy that employs a more laissez faire attitude towards regulation. The second policy presents a “prohibiting” stance that runs just short of banning aspects of the sector, leaving room to grant legitimacy if certain conditions are met. The third places the regulations in the hands of the executive power, with the relevant ministries developing a framework based of the final decision.

The Director of the Department of Civil and Economic Laws, Nguyen Thanh Tu stated:

“Relevant ministries and departments will build an appropriate legal framework to govern digital assets and currencies after the executive power chooses the trend it wants to follow, the official added.”