Link Thanh Group and blockchain-based Swiss company KRONN Ventures AG partner to launch an exchange in Vietnam.  Despite Vietnamese authorities banning 'crypto' related activities, it looks like blockchain adoption can’t be halted, but the move has been met with some confusion with Vietnam giving out mixed messages.  Is it banned or not?

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The licensed exchange comes as a result of a Memorandum of Understanding between the Link Thanh Group and KRONN Ventures AG who hope to work with Vietnam, the Philippines, Cambodia, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka to build an international wiring system with blockchain technology for the Asian environment.

The current license mandates the company to operate in Vietnam in spite of the authorities banning crypto activities. Its banks have issued repeated warnings against using digital currencies, but Hanoi's Ministry of Justice had urged the government to consider all possibilities.  In Vietnam, digital currencies aren't viewed as legal tender and to avoid scams and Ponzi schemes the government sought to introduce some strict decisions aimed at bringing them in line with countries who have a more established understanding of it.

To protect investors, Vietnam considered overhauling its current digital currency regulations and practices, with Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc directing government agencies to draft proposals for the country’s first legal digital currency framework. All options were on the table, including implementing flexible regulatory systems, accepting the use of digital currencies under certain conditions as well as completely banning the using digital currency altogether.  In the end, the State Securities Commission of Vietnam (SSC) ordered industries not to engage with any and all activities related to digital currencies.

Yet Kronn was able to secure a license for launching a digital currency exchange despite appearing to be in conflict with the ban; with over a million Vietnamese using digital currencies and over 15, 000 verified mining rigs in operation; a complete ban always looked unlikely to materialise.

The country needs to strike a careful balance as they can't afford to miss out on the economic benefits brought about by the wider adoption of digital currencies.  Having said that there are always pros and cons to each approach – what do you think the best option for Vietnam is?

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