Virtual currencies are not recognized by the State Bank of Vietnam
(Updated at 8:49, 13/4/2018)
State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) said that Bitcoin and other similar virtual currencies are not lawful currencies and payment methods in Vietnam.
Deputy Prime Minister Vuong Dinh Hue has directed the completion of the legal framework to manage and handle virtual currencies.

According to the Government Office, in early January, the Deputy Prime Minister assigned the Ministry of Justice to assume the prime responsibility and coordinate with the State Bank of Vietnam in perfecting the legal framework for managing virtual currencies as directed in Decision No. 1255/QD-TTG dated August 21, 2017 to be submitted to the Prime Minister before January 30.
 
As of January 30, the Ministry of Justice issued Document No. 35 on the development of a legal framework for virtual currency management in Vietnam, demonstrating the current status of virtual currency usage and experience of virtual currency management in several countries in the world and the current Vietnamese regulations relating to virtual currencies.
 
Regarding the legal framework of virtual currencies, the above text of the Ministry of Justice said: “In the Law on the State Bank of Vietnam, the Law on Credit Institutions of Vietnam 2010 ... although there are no regulations on virtual currencies, but there are no restrictions on virtual currency transactions.”
 
The Ministry of Justice proposed further study to report to the Prime Minister on the management and handling of virtual currencies to better fit in with the trend of the world as well as the characteristics and situation of Vietnam.
Then, in March, the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Information and Communication and the State Bank sent the relevant documents to the Ministry of Justice.
 
According to the written comments of the State Bank concerning the use of Bitcoin and other similar virtual currencies as payment instruments in Vietnam, the current law stipulates: Clause 1, Article 17 of the Law on the State Bank of Vietnam 2010 stipulates: “State Bank of Vietnam is the only agency issuing paper money and coins of Vietnam; Paper money and coins issued by the State Bank are legal means of payment in the Vietnamese territory”.
 
Clauses 6 and 7 of Article 4 of Decree No. 101/2012/ND-CP dated November 12, 2012 of the Government on non-cash payment stipulate payment instruments as follows: “Non-cash payment instruments in payment transactions are cheques, payment orders, collection orders, bank cards and other payment instruments as prescribed by the State Bank. Illegal payment instruments are payment instruments which are not included in the abovementioned definition.”
 
According to the State Bank of Vietnam, Clause 6, Article 6 of Decree No. 101 on prohibited conduct includes the acts of issuing, providing or using illegal payment instruments.
 
As such, the State Bank considers Bitcoin and other similar virtual currencies are not legal currencies and payment methods in Vietnam. The issuance, supply, use of Bitcoin and other similar virtual currencies as a means of payment are prohibited in Vietnam.
 
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Information and Communication said that it will study the provisions of the Law on Information Technology to make modifications and supplements in order to develop a uniform policy that is consistent with the provisions of legislation relating to the management and use of virtual currencies.
 
 
Huong Nguyen
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