Vietnam to Legalize Bitcoin by 2018

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Vietnam is on the cusp of joining a growing list of countries that have explicitly legalized bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

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.

Part of Vietnam’s framework will include rules for taxing digital-currency users. 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.

Also, proposals on how to prevent and handle violations concerning the use of cryptocurrencies should be submitted for approval by September of the same year.

Vietnam believe the focus on digital technology will attract more foreign investment, bringing additional economic opportunity to the country.

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