Vietnam is on the cusp of joining a growing list of countries that have explicitly legalized bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, according to local media outlets cited by CoinTelegraph. Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has authorized the formulation of a plan that could result in the legalization of digital currencies by next year, reportedly ordered the country’s central bank, ministry of finance and the ministry of public safety to study and draft the legal framework.
If successful, Vietnam would join Japan and a handful of other countries that have explicitly legalized bitcoin and digital currency transactions. The US has taken steps toward regulating digital currencies, but those decisions have mostly been made by regulators, as well as the State of Delaware. In a vague but consequential ruling issued last month, the SEC decreed that digital currencies are securities that should be registered with the commission. Back in 2015, the CFTC ruled that bitcoin should be classified as a commodity, and earlier this summer it approved the first SEF for bitcoin-related derivatives.
Nguyen Xuan Phuc
Like Russia and China, Vietnam was initially skeptical of digital currencies. But like its larger peers, it has slowly warmed to them. Russian authorities announced in June that they were exploring how best to regulate digital currencies, and, earlier this year, Chinese authorities adopted new regulations to ensure local digital currency exchanges enforce its financial rules.
According to CoinTelegraph, the assessment process must be completed by August 2018, but most of the paperwork needed to implement the new regulations should be finished by year’s end.
Part of Vietnam’s framework will include rules for taxing digital-currency users.
“Simultaneously, Vietnamese officials are mandated to work on a taxation system for digital currencies. The system, which will determine how virtual currency users in the country will be taxed, is due for implementation in June 2019.
Moreover, proposals on how to prevent and handle violations concerning the use of cryptocurrencies should be submitted for approval by September of the same year.”
In other blockchain news, CoinTelegraph is also reporting that Papua New Guinea’s central bank has drafted a plan for blockchain integration, joining central banks in the UK, Canada, the PBOC and a host of other countries in exploring potential applications for blockchain technology.
The plan was presented by PNG central bank governor Loi Bakani during a blockchain conference hosted by the central bank.
Bakani said blockchain technology could help introduce more of Papua New Guinea’s people to the banking system.
"It is the new innovations that can change people's lives - almost 85 percent of our people live outside the banking system."
PNG is hoping that the focus on digital technology will attract more foreign investment, bringing more economic opportunity to the impoverished country, according to CoinTelegraph.