A Comprehensive Overview of the NFT Sector in Vietnam

Southeast Asia has the highest adoption rate of NFTs worldwide, & Vietnam is host to some of the biggest NFT startups in Asia. Find out why.

Did you know that Vietnam is host to one of the largest NFT startups in the world? Did you also know that Vietnam hosts the highest number of cryptocurrency holders globally? 

NFT stands for Non-Fungible Token which is a non-interchangeable, distinct unit of data stored on a blockchain which is a series of interlinked cryptographic blocks. They can serve as a ledger for tracing the lineage of proprietorship of traded online assets, such as sports clips or works of art.

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Cryptocurrencies and physical money are “fungible,” implying that they can be interchanged for one another as they are equal in value. For instance, one dollar is always equal to another dollar and so is one Bitcoin always equal to another. NFTs are different as they have a digital signature that makes it impossible for NFTs to be exchanged or equal to one another, hence non-fungible. 

Although these digital assets have been in circulation since 2014, they have become increasingly popular today; almost USD 174 million has been spent on purchasing NFTs since November 2017. As per a study conducted by Finder, Southeast Asia has the highest adoption rate of NFTs worldwide.

NFT future Adoption in Vietnam

Finder’s online survey polled over 28,000 people and asked about their possession of NFTs across 20 countries. 

Countries and RegionsNFT Ownership
1. Philippines32.0%
2. Thailand26.6%
3. Malaysia23.9%
4. United Arab Emirates23.4%
5. Vietnam17.4%
6. Nigeria13.7%
7. Brazil12.1%

Source: Finder’s survey of 28,723 adults was conducted in September 2021

These rankings foretell Southeast Asia’s leading position in NFT proprietorship in the upcoming years with Vietnam closely emerging as a leader by securing its position in the top five. As recorded by Finder, the present speculation bears that acquisition of NFTs will reach 41% in the region. Moreover, one can witness the higher rates of NFT adoption in countries where average wages of workers are low.

In the past few months in Vietnam, there has been an incredible buzz amongst people, particularly about the game developed by the Vietnamese Unicorn, Sky Mavis – Axie Infinity which is currently the most sought-after project with 3.86 million searches on Google (according to Design Bundles). According to data shared by Axie Infinity Marketplace, within a span of 24 days, up to 28,400 NFT Axies were sold successfully. In a single day alone, the total value of transactions of Axies reached USD 1.5 million

New startups based on Blockchain and NFT in Vietnam

In its bid to pursue digital transformation, Vietnamese startups pinned their hopes on blockchain technology. Envisioning practical e-commerce and entertainment impacts, the team at Saigon Books is optimistic about their new project that employs blockchain in producing podcasts and audiobooks. They also have plans to create a blockchain-based platform to enable users to produce audio content and earn money.

Related Reading: The Remarkable rise of Vietnam’s Fintech Industry, a Comprehensive Guide for Investors

Local startups have also entered the blockchain arena. Blockchain-based games like Axie Infinity and finance apps like Coin98 Finance have raised millions of dollars. According to a report by TechSci Research, Vietnam’s blockchain market is all set to welcome double growth in the 2023-2027 period because of 5G development across the country. 

Vietnam’s very own NFT marketplace

Incepted in October 2020, the Cong Troi project is an NFT crafting and trading platform dedicated to Vietnamese art. Through Cong Troi, collectors can easily acquire NFT ownerships of a digitized artwork, such as a video clip, 3D paintings, a digital autograph, or a part of one’s favorite song curated by stalwarts in the indigenous community of art.

Once the artists’ works were digitized, they could be sold to the public as NFTs, while the originals still belonged to them. Hence, digitization immortalizes artworks and yields remarkable benefits to an artist’s legacy. Along with being an avenue for blockchain business, NFT marketplace is a paradise for creators and connoisseurs which could transform the discipline forever.

NFT value expectation in  SEA
NFT value expectations in 5 years’ time in Southeast Asia as of December 2021, by Country
Source: Statistica

NFT adoption rates in SEA 

The adoption of NFTs is on the rise as it created a market worth USD 40 billion as of the year 2021. Back in 2020, a global survey was conducted by Statista in 55 nations about digital currency ownership with over 12,000 respondents in each country. It was observed that Vietnam had the second-highest number of people who owned cryptocurrency, as much as 21.1%. The Philippines stood at third place with 19.8%, Thailand was fifth with 17.6%, Indonesia stood tenth with 13%, and Malaysia was twelfth with 12.3%.

According to Triple-A, a cryptocurrency payments company, in Asia there were 160 million users from Southeast Asian countries with Indonesia having more than 7 million owners of cryptocurrency. The Southeast Asian region alone had 21 million crypto users. The high rate of cryptocurrency adoption shows that the crypto market is a lucrative investment opportunity in SEA. 

Legal framework being addressed for Digital Assets

Following the latest developments made by the Vietnamese government, a notification has been issued to the Finance Ministry, directing them to find out more about laws that regulate the virtual asset market and make amendments wherever required. According to CoinTelegraph the deputy prime minister has directed the Ministry of Finance to take the onus for developing a framework of laws for the digital currency market. The resultant process would include ascertaining those legal records that require some changes or additions. 

The new legal framework will be etched in accordance with Decision 1255, in order to create a framework of laws for digital currencies and virtual assets. In the past, Vietnam had a hostile relationship with cryptocurrency as the country had initially banned Bitcoin transactions in 2014 but the tables turned in 2017 when then PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc gave recognition to BTC as a legal tender whereas in 2018, it was banned again. Later on, the government then instituted a crypto research group, that was given the task of keeping track of different developments being made in the virtual asset market and suggesting changes in legal policies. In spite of its turbulent past, Vietnam is host to the largest number of cryptocurrency holders worldwide

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Vojtech Zehnalek

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Vojtech Zehnalek, MSc.

Vojtech Zehnalek is the CEO of the Cekindo Vietnam office. He graduated in Economics and International Trade from the University of Economics in Prague, the Czech Republic, and he also earned a Business Degree at the Vlerick Business School in Belgium.