April 16, 2018
Blockchain is a technology that has strong potential to revolutionize the world economy.
Creating a fierce competition amongst key industries, blockchain technology has been extensively researched and deployed by a plethora of major corporations in the world such as JP Morgan, Citibank, Visa, Volkswagen, Airbus, Maersk, etc.
“Blockchain is considered as a revolutionary technology due to its countless applications to any kind of transactions involving value from money, commodities to real estate. The potential use of this technology is almost endless, from collecting taxes to remittances by migrants,” said World Economic Forum (WEF). In 2017, in excess of 90% of major banks in North America and Europe is in the process of researching and implementing blockchain. Global blockchain technology market is expected to increase 70 times by 2024 compared to 2015, with the value of 20 billion dollars. Ultimately, blockchain has positioned itself as a unique industry awaiting the legitimacy of the law.
In Vietnam, businesses are in the midst of developing some research groups or pilot projects on Blockchain, including Viettel, Napas, TMA Solutions, to name a few.
Attending a blockchain event in Vietnam, Mr. Musheer Ahmed, Hong Kong’s FinTech Association, member of the United Nations ESCAP (Economic and Social Committee for Asia and the Pacific) Sustainable Business Network (ESBN) commented: “The impact of blockchain lies in its extremely wide applications in a variety of different industries. Blockchain allows easy and safe transactions across borders, with greater accessibility due to the internet and global networks supporting the blockchain platform. ”
With a multitude of well rounded programmers and software engineers, Vietnam is one of the brightest spots on the blockchain technology world map. In early March, the inaugural blockchain event – Vietnam Blockchain Week (VBW) was taken place with the participation of many influential leaders and industry professionals, including Mr. Charles Hoskinson, Co-founder of Ethereum – the world’s second-largest cryptocurrency, along with an array of international investors from venture capital funds. Investment Bridge Magazine has had a quick meeting with Mr. Junya Yamamoto, Chairman of Infinity Blockchain Labs (IBL)- the organizer of Vietnam Blockchain Week, to discuss a number of pertinent issues in the blockchain-based applications in Vietnam.
Since IBL’s inception in 2015, blockchain has received relatively little attention and recognition from the public. However, Vietnam has been long known to be one of the world’s top software outsourcing centres, with a certain level of high-quality engineers and tech talents. There are over 40,000 engineers to be educated and trained in many universities and institutions across the country each year.
However, Blockchain or Smart Contract is a relatively new technology that is rarely part of university curricula in almost every country in the world. In such light, due to its large pool of available tech talent, Vietnam is considered as an ideal place for blockchain training and education for those who want to get involved and keep up with the revolutionary technology. By hosting the Vietnam Blockchain Week, we would like to emphasize the potential of Vietnam on becoming the next major blockchain hub. This event is indeed an unparalleled opportunity for Vietnam to connect with many key players and decision-makers in the global blockchain industry.
So what is the obstacle to developing Blockchain in Vietnam?
The largest obstacle of blockchain used to be its community awareness. The confusion between the speculative movement and the technology itself has created a negative impression of blockchain. However, this problem has positively changed in recent years. At present, the remaining obstacle is the legal framework. Blockchain research projects are waiting for a legal standard to gain access to the market. Foreign investors are looking forward to this legal aspect to formally pour investments into Vietnam as well.
The legal framework for Blockchain in Vietnam has been discussed since August 2017. What are your expectations for this?
There is a difference between Southeast Asian countries and Western countries in term of legal framework. Regarding to many Western countries, activities that do not violate the law are considered as legal. But it is totally opposite when it comes to Southeast Asian countries’ systems, meaning that activities without any legal framework or regulatory provisions can not be implemented.
Fortunately, the Vietnamese government has recognized the massive impacts of blockchain technology and has made efforts to catch up with the current world trend. With these optimistic moves, I believe the legal framework for blockchain will soon be coming into force in August this year, and becoming a big hit in not only related industries but also many other sectors due to its extensively wide applicability.
Nevertheless, the legal framework needs to be innovative and flexible so that new technologies can be efficiently legalized. A simple legal framework is what many people are waiting for. A framework that appeals to investors should only contain key main points to legitimize a technology idea, rather than a law that frames those ideas in a structure of what is allowed.
Could you share the objectives and directions of Vietnam Blockchain Club (VBC) in developing the blockchain applications in Vietnam?
With non-profit business goals and objectives, VBC is poised to be an effective link between lawmakers, investors and technology businesses, promised to create the environment for sharing knowledge, testing business ideas and developing relevant blockchain-based applications. Particularly, VBC is cooperating with Ho Chi Minh City University of Technology to organize a variety of educational and training courses about blockchain.
Moreover, there are three main points that we are currently implementing. The first thing is to connect lawmakers with key industry players domestically and internationally so that they can better understand the business and legal environments in Vietnam. We hope to become the gateway where global blockchain organizations can gain access and tap into the Vietnamese market. In addition, we would like to introduce the potential of this Southeast Asian country to the whole wide world. Its potential is not just about programming, but also on the different business aspects.
Next, we want to focus on developing Vietnamese innovative products and services with international standards. Finally, we look forward to helping Vietnam go beyond merely just a programming hub by enhancing the development of blockchain-based products.
IBL is known as a developer of blockchain-based Regtech solutions, so what are the major projects that IBL is deploying?
IBL mainly focuses on R&D projects based on the blockchain technology platform, which is promised to have a profound effect on the way the world does businesses. Blockchain itself will not make sense if it is not used and applied into other segments. Hence, our goal is to introduce blockchain into different kinds of product and service sectors to create specific social values.
IBL has successfully completed the Infinito Wallet project early this year. Apart from that, recognizing the ongoing importance of legislation for this new technology, we are focusing on developing some RegTech projects (technology that helps regulators comply with regulatory requirements) such as BlockPass and KYC on a blockchain basis. The privacy identification technology BlockPass (for users) combined with KYC (for providers) will enable both parties to combine data in a consistent manner with the law.
Information about the organizer: https://www.blockchainlabs.asia
LinkedIn: Infinity Blockchain Labs