Given the ongoing Coronavirus taking place in China and in the surrounding region, having a large impact on the crypto activities such as conferences and communities, we continue to believe Southeast Asia (SEA) may be potentially spared as one of the breakout regions in the eastern hemisphere in 2020. As we emphasized earlier this year, we advise our readers to pay attention more to SEA this year. SEA will see a concentrated and robust number of crypto activities in many of its regional countries, whether that’s focused on crypto, blockchain or digital currencies.
For our next few premium posts, we’ll be diving into the recent trends and ongoing opportunities in blockchain and digital currencies in SEA. Checkout all the existing ones here.
Crypto Trends in Vietnam
Vietnam is one of the fastest-growing economies in the world, recording 7.1% GDP growth in 2018. In Vietnam, smartphone ownership is already more than 70% in urban areas and more than 50% in rural areas, with Internet penetration over 50%. Meanwhile, the total number of unbanked Vietnamese remains around 70%. This gap, while staggering, does leave a significant amount of room for technologies and companies hinging on bridging financial gaps — most notably blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies — to grow in Vietnam.
The regulators are also very active, recently, Vietnam’s Ministry of Science and Technology co-organized a blockchain forum that gathered government representatives, enterprises, and startups. The Ministry of Justice also hosted a conference on regulating digital assets and cryptocurrencies.
Crypto and Blockchain Trends by Category in the Country:
- Supply chain and traceability- blockchain technology has already been adopted to trace the supply chain and origins of food and agricultural produce.
- Tracking on blockchain-. For example, the Mỹ Xương cooperative in Dong Thap province has reportedly been using distributed ledger technology to trace the origins of mangoes distributed through the cooperative. Suppliers and customers can easily scan a QR code that will lead them to a blockchain platform that gathers all information on the product.
- Food and consumer goods application- For example, Te-Food has recently implemented blockchain-based traceability at Vinamilk, one of the largest dairy companies in Southeast Asia, with $2.2 billion in yearly revenue. Together, they will track a new infant formula product called Vinamilk Organic Gold.
- Staking economy– many foreign players have established staking economies and infrastructure in Vietnam
- For example, TomoChain Staking Service
- Hashkey Hub – Chinese staking services app
- International project expansion – Projects from China, Korea are all expanding into Vietnam to build community and hire talent. Cryptocurrency companies like NEO and OkEx have looked to make inroads into Vietnam, holding many conferences there and looking to set up and invest in the nation.
- Crypto Trading and Exchanges
- Exchanges- trading based protocols such as Kyber Network are based in Vietnam, and exchanges from China and Japan, such as OKEx and Huobi, Quoine, have been pushing for more market share in the country and setting up large support teams.
- STOs– Fintech company Fvndit recently held a $10M digital security offering in Vietnam. The company will use the proceeds to further its Vietnamese crowd-funding platform for small and medium-sized businesses. The offering will be available to both US and non-US investors. Compliant legally in the United States, it falls under Regulation D (506c) and Regulation S exemptions.
Opportunities in the Country
High interest, combined with the technological know-how of the Vietnamese people, and the changing cultural attitudes of the younger generations were all key factors reflecting the potential of Vietnam as the next high-growth market and a key player in the regional blockchain scene. In a recent Crypto twitter responses survey, Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam show the most positive response on average in their crypto posts.
Additionally, Vietnam has a startup ecosystem that is growing at an average rate of 1,000 new players per year. The crypto community in Vietnam is growing rapidly, as a large talent pool of skilled developers has gathered to embark on new projects. Key players in the area of crypto exchanges include Bitcoin VN, Remitano, Quoine, and VBTC.
We see that the financial services industry seems to be likely one of the first industries in Vietnam to be disrupted by blockchain.