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Is use of cryptocurrencies as a payment method prohibited under Vietnamese laws?

By October 3, 2022 No Comments
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In the first part of the article, we answered the question: “Are cryptocurrencies recognized as non-cash payment instrument under Vietnamese laws?, and in the second part, we will answer the question: “Is usage of cryptocurrencies as a payment method prohibited under Vietnamese laws?”

Article 1 Decree No. 80/2016/ND-CP, amending the Decree No. 101/2012/ND-CP, on non-cash payments provide that “6. Non-cash payment instruments in payment transactions (hereinafter referred to as payment instruments), including cheques, payment orders, collection orders, bank cards and other payment instruments as prescribed by the State Bank.

7. Illegal payment instruments are payment instruments not included in Clause 6 of this Article.”

Accordingly, only non-cash payment instruments, including cheques, payment orders, collection orders, bank cards, and other payment instruments as prescribed by the State Bank are recognized as legal payment instruments. Since the cryptocurrency has not yet been prescribed by the State Bank, it shall not be considered as legal payment instrument.

On 21st July 2017, the State Bank of Vietnam issued the Dispatch No. 5747/NHNN-PC (the “Dispatch”) to the Government Office for the purpose of responding to question about Bitcoin, Litecoin, and other virtual currencies. Accordingly, the Dispatch affirmed that the above cryptocurrencies are not currencies and legal payment instruments in accordance with Vietnamese laws. In particular, the Dispatch said “As stipulated in Vietnamese legislation, cryptocurrencies in general, or Bitcoin and Litecoin in particular are not currencies and do not act as lawful means of payment”.

In the third part, we will discuss “Legal risks for doing cryptocurrency business in Vietnam without license”.

By: Richard Luu