Vietnam ranks second in terms of cryptocurrency use, driven by remittance payments, according to a recent survey by a global provider of market and consumer data Statista.
Statista’s survey findings showed that 21 per cent of respondents in Vietnam said that they used or owned cryptocurrency last year, the second-highest rate among 74 surveyed countries.
Vietnam came after Nigeria where almost a third said this applied to them.
Reliance on remittances and the prevalence of peer-to-peer phone payments had led to a steep rise of cryptocurrency use in Africa’s largest economy, according to the survey.
The high cost of sending money across borders the conventional way caused many to turn to local cryptocurrency exchanges catering to overseas workers and their families, according to Bitcoin.com.
Nigerians also often used their phones to send money to each other or to pay in shops. Recently, businesses in the country have been adding crypto plug-ins to their phone payment options, adding another way in which Nigerians could use cryptocurrency in their everyday lives.
For Vietnam and the Philippines where 20 per cent of respondents said they used or owned cryptocurrency, remittance payments played a role in the widespread use of cryptocurrency, Statista said.
Other countries where cryptocurrency was also common included Turkey (16 per cent), Peru (16 per cent) and Switzerland (11 per cent).
Japan was the country in the survey where the fewest people said they used or owned cryptocurrency. Only four per cent said they had experience with crypto products, the lowest in the survey together with Denmark.
Cryptocurrency has not been recognised as a legitimate means of payment in Vietnam, according to the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV).
The central bank also warned that owning, trading and using cryptocurrency as a kind of asset was risky and not protected by laws.
In May, the Ministry of Finance set up a group in charge of studying and proposing policies to manage virtual assets and cryptocurrency.
On August 21, 2017, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc issued Decision No 1255/QD-TTg to approve the project of completing the legal framework for managing and handling virtual assets, electronic currency and cryptocurrency.
The prime minister issued Directive No 10/CT-TTg on August 11, 2018 on enhancing the management on bitcoin and other similar virtual currencies with an aim to prevent the negative impacts of virtual currencies.
On April 13 that year, then-SBV governor Le Minh Hung issued a directive to strengthen measures to control the transactions of cryptocurrency to ensure compliance with the established regulations on money laundering.
VIET NAM NEWS/ASIA NEWS NETWORK