Agencies promote anti-money laundering in cryptocurrency transactions



View of the conference. Photo

HÀ NỘI — The Vietnam Banks Association (VNBA) and Vietnam Blockchain Association on Wednesday jointly organised a conference to promote legal regulations on anti-money laundering in cryptocurrency transactions.

Addressing the conference, Nguyễn Quốc Hùng, Vice President and General Secretary of the Vietnam Banks Association (VNBA), said the Law on Anti-Money Laundering was passed by the National Assembly and has taken effect since March 2023. The Government and the State Bank of Vietnam also issued Decree 19/2023/NĐ-CP and Circular No. 09/2023/TT-NHNN to guide the implementation of the law.

According to Hùng, the law, decree and circular were issued with many contents suitable to practice so that relevant organisations and individuals can implement them effectively.

However, Hùng said, under the context of increasingly deep integration and the explosion of information technology, Việt Nam has to face many forms, methods, and tricks of increasingly complicated money laundering criminals, especially in digital currency and cryptocurrency where the legal corridor is not fully complete.

In recent years, cryptocurrency has been used for payment, but money laundering through transactions of this currency cannot be ruled out. Therefore, Hùng expected State management agencies, credit institutions, international organisations, and experts to continue to share experiences to further deploy effective anti-money laundering activities.

According to Nguyễn Đoan Hùng, Vice President of the Vietnam Blockchain Association, money laundering is a criminal act defined as the legalisation of assets obtained through crime. According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the total value of money laundering activities globally each year can be equal to 2-5 per cent of world GDP, equivalent to US$800 billion to $2 trillion.

In particular, money laundering is often related to illegal arms trading, terrorist financing, human trafficking, embezzlement, insider trading, gambling or cross-border prostitution rings that are implemented by large-scale criminal organisations. Therefore, anti-money laundering is a priority for all countries in the world, including Việt Nam.

Currently, only a few countries and territories have promptly issued legal regulations to prevent financial crimes using high and blockchain technologies, such as the European Union with the Markets in Crypto-Assets Regulation (MiCA) that will officially take effect in 2024. Other dynamic economies such as the US, South Korea, Hong Kong (China), and the United Arab Emirates have also issued many regulations to increase transparency, ensure legal compliance and safety for users, and at the same time fulfil the obligations of anti-money laundering and anti-terrorist financing.

In Việt Nam, due to the lack of a specific legal framework and a lack of high-quality personnel in cryptocurrency and digital assets, credit institutions and State management agencies are still confused about handling acts related to this new type of assets even though the Law on Anti-Money Laundering has taken effect since March 2023.

Faced with the shortcomings, the Vietnam Blockchain Association early this year announced an anti-fraud project called ChainTracer. ChainTracer’s mission is to provide solutions to track onchain and offchain blockchain data to detect signs of fraud in digital assets. The purpose of ChainTracer is to promote transparency and openness of projects in Việt Nam and internationally, contributing to the prevention of high-tech crimes related to blockchain activities. — VNS


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