Could a crypto comeback be on the cards in Vietnam? And could South Korean blockchain firms provide a catalyst for change?
In the past few days, Ho Chi Minh (HCM) City authorities have stated that they will “develop a blockchain infrastructure” to power smart city construction initiatives, claiming they would use blockchain to “mitigate risk and streamline processes,” per Vietnam News.
HCM’s High-tech Park tech incubator has also sealed a deal with South Korean firm CBA Ventures, who will provide tech support and blockchain training.
Another South Korean company looking to do business in Vietnam is cryptocurrency exchange Bitsonic, per News1. Leading South Korean exchanges such as Upbit and Coinone have previously launched trading platforms in Indonesia and other South East Asian nations.
Bitsonic says it will partner with Innovantech, a Vietnamese blockchain firm, and says it plans to launch the exchange, which will be named M2Bit, in the first quarter of next year.
The companies say they will work with Vietnamese bank Techcombank, and plan to offer crypto to dong (Vietnamese fiat) pairings.
Van Nguyen, a Hai Phong-based accountant, told Cryptonews.com,
“People have noticeably started talking about blockchain and cryptocurrencies in a more positive light in recent weeks. The mood is upbeat during these discussions. I don’t know if that’s because of developments related to the Chinese government and South Korean companies or not. But we do pay a lot of attention to tech developments in both countries.”
While regulation continues to hinder the progress of blockchain and crypto companies in South Korea, a number of firms are looking elsewhere in Asia, developing expansion plans in Vietnam.
HCM’s blockchain move comes as the central government steps up its own blockchain game. The country’s Ministry of Science and Technology says that a new SME accelerator project will “give priority to blockchain startups.”
HCM officials also spoke of “working with agencies to build a roadmap for the application of blockchain in the country.”
In September, the Korea Times reported that South Korea’s NEEO Apps had joined forces with a Vietnamese firm to launch the Exvina crypto exchange, while blockchain firm Sigma Chain is also active in Vietnam.
The newspaper added,
“Korean blockchain companies are rushing to Vietnam to find business opportunities and new revenue sources in the Southeast Asian market.”