NFTs beginning to find takers in Vietnam
Song writer Nguyen Van Chung earlier this month announced his intention to issue non-fungible tokens, becoming one of the first artists to do so.
He offered to sell a share of profits from his YouTube channel, which has 200,000 followers, a process he calls “equitization” of the channel.
The channel has 700 music videos.
Rapper Binz last month launched a collection of non-fungible tokens for a percentage of royalties from his new song ‘Don’t Break My Heart,’ which has 8.6 million views on YouTube.
He offers investors 0.05 percent royalty on these tokens, which are priced at US$69-108,000.
Model Vinh Thuy announced earlier this week he plans to join the NFT market with his ‘1988Dragon’ collection. Details of the collection are yet to be released.
|An illustration of Vinh Thuy NFT. Photo courtesy of model Vinh Thuy|
The announcements come after Vietnam made headlines globally with Axie Infinity, a blockchain-based play-to-earn NFT game in which people can earn cryptocurrency by selling characters and items.
NFT is a non-interchangeable unit that represents objects like art, music, in-game items, and videos.
By using blockchain technology, NFT ensures that only one person can own an asset at any given time.
Truong Gia Bao, chairman of business consultancy Digital Transformation for SMEs, said NFTs are emerging in Vietnam as representatives of both physical and digital assets.
There are property NFTs in which investors could buy a small piece that is part of a bigger project, he said.
Other sectors have also started to show interests in NFTs.
Than Thuc Quyen, CEO of Sanova Hotel, said the company plans to partner with a South Korean firm to develop NFTs for hotel services.
“This is just an idea for now and we have not deployed it yet as this [technology] is still new in the tourism-services industry”.
In February companies like Crystal Bay and Beowulf Blockchain launched a platform for tourism NFTs on which customers can trade bookings with each other.
Vietnam is among the top five countries globally in terms of NFT ownership, U.S.-based price-comparing platform Finder reported last November.
Around 17.4 percent of Vietnamese Internet users own NFTs as against the global rate of 11.7 percent, it said.
Around 68 percent of Vietnamese believe NFT prices would continue to rise, the highest rate in the six Southeast Asian countries surveyed in November by Statista and Milieu.
|NFT value expectations by 2026|
Nguyen Trung Anh, founder of cryptocurrency game platform MetaHub, said investors in NFTs believe their value would continue to rise due to their exclusivity.
Some companies are trying to develop key opinion leaders on social media and auction the NFTs of those people, he said.
“They can appear in metaverse later, and therefore I think the prices are appropriate”.
But there are hurdles such as “trash” NFTs, which represent copyrighted assets, the equivalent of counterfeit goods in the real world, he said.
It is therefore better to bet on NFTs of talented artists.
Another challenge is the lack of a legal framework for this new technology.
Trinh Xuan An, deputy chairman of the Young Lawmakers Group, said, “We need to create awareness of a legal framework for blockchain to manage and develop it”.
Deputy Prime Minister Le Minh Khai last month instructed ministries to look into building a legal framework for digital assets.
The State Bank of Vietnam earlier this month also included blockchain technology in a proposed decree for regulating fintech in banking.
“This draft decree has blockchain, but is only for the banking sector,” Dao Tien Phong, managing lawyer of Investpush Legal, said.
“It should be expanded to other sectors”.
Viet Nam’s fintech reaches new heights
The country’s fintech market is forecast to reach a staggering US$18 billion mark by 2024, according to an article on asiaone.com of Singapore.
Housing close to 200 fintech organizations, now 66 percent of adults have payment accounts as listed by the Ministry of Planning and Investment. The perfect medley of 91.3 million smartphone subscribers and an internet penetration rate of 73.2 percent have made the situation more conducive for the industry’s growth.
The success of these promising fintech organizations has been linked with their close ties with the banking sector that has created invaluable synergies.
The Viet Nam Banks Association (VNBA) has always been upfront in bringing favorable changes to the country’s financial services industry, be it for lowering SMS charges for banking services or urging Visa and Mastercard to reduce several types of fees on Vietnamese banks during COVID-19.
Its most recent move got a lot of attention when it stepped forward as the official supporting partner for World Financial Innovation Series (WFIS) that’s shaping to be the country’s premier fintech event.
The National Digital Transformation Program by 2025, with an orientation towards 2030, which was approved in September 2021, sets the goal that 50 percent of banking operations by customers to be fully online.
In addition, half of the population have a digital checking account while 70 percent of customer transactions made through digital channels.
Besides, half of decisions on lending, small and consumer loans of individual customers made digitally and are automated whilst 70 percent of work and service records at credit institutions to be processed and stored digitally.
Digital banks attract significant numbers of customers
After only six months of launching MyVIB 2.0 digital banking application – which uses multi-cloud computing technology to process 60-70 per cent of the input data to help banks realise ideas, bring products and services to the market faster and respond sooner to customer requests, VIB has doubled the number of customers compared to the previous year and reach the target of 4 million customers nearly a year earlier than expected.
Not only VIB, the wave of “cloudisation” of digital banking applications to expand modes and storage capacity, and increase integrated processing and user data security capacity has been invested in and implemented by many commercial banks.
Currently, VietABank, PVcomBank, VietinBank, Techcombank, SeABank, ABBank and OCB have all integrated cloud computing technologies to launch new digital banking platforms serving the sales of retail products and services, attracting millions of users.
The business results by the end of 2022 of banks showed a sharp increase in the number of new customers attracted by banks thanks to their digital applications. For example, MB last year added 7 million customers in the wake of developing Biz MBBank and Charity app while Techcombank with E-Banking apps (using AWS cloud computing technology) attracted an additional 1.2 million users in 2022. ACB and TPBank also said they recorded an annual growth of 30 per cent in the number of customers using digital applications in the 2019-22 period.
Along with the increase in the number of customers, the investment in new technologies and digitalisation of business activities have helped many banks attain significant achievements. For VIB and ACB, the proportion of revenue from retail activities was around 90 per cent in 2022. Retail activities at other banks such as MB, Techcombank and Sacombank currently account for more than 50 per cent of their business portfolio.
Recent research by Gimigo Vietnam showed 2023 will continue to witness fierce competition between banks in developing retail digital banking applications to gain market share.
According to Gimigo, the group of large State-owned banks such as Vietcombank, BIDV, Agribank, VietinBank and MB was leading in the retail segment thanks to being trusted by users and having a widespread network by the end of 2022. However, the group of private banks such as Techcombank, Sacombank, ACB, VPBank and TPBank have significantly improved their awareness level and attracted a large number of users in recent months.
Gimigo’s survey in Ha Noi, HCM City and some other big cities showed the digital applications of Techcombank, ACB and Sacombank are currently competing strongly with large-sized State-owned banks. Other private banks such as TPBank and VPBank also have high net promoter scores (NPS). Thus, the group of banks has many opportunities to expand the customer base thanks to the existing group of loyal customers and the new customers.
According to experts, developing the networks of branches, transaction offices, POS and ATMs is no longer the banks’ top priority. Instead, they focus on digitisation of products and services. To maintain the number of customers, banks need to pay more attention to transaction costs, quality of products and services, staff attitude, customer service, and continuous improvement of online procedures.
Regarding the development trend of digital application generations this year, Gimigo said besides investment in cloud computing technologies and applying Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning to develop applications to support retail sales of products and services, banks will tend to pour in an integrated open banking ecosystem.
Some banks, which have so far invested in purely digital banking models such as Cake, Timo, Tnex, Octo and Ubank, have attracted users. For example, VPBank’s Cake app currently has 1 million users.
Experts forecast banks will invest more in developing completely new digital banking brands in the near future. In which, micro products and services will be integrated into personal financial management tools to attract customers to use banks’ retail products and services.
Source: Việt Nam News
Over 57,000 ransomware attacks hit Vietnam in 2022
Vietnam suffered 57,389 ransomware attacks in 2022, the third-highest in Southeast Asia following Indonesia and Thailand.
The region recorded a total of 340,904 ransomware attacks targeting businesses last year, General Manager of Kaspersky for Southeast Asia Yeo Siang Tiong told a press briefing in Ho Chi Minh City on March 14.
Ransomware is a type of malware that locks a computer and mobile device or encrypts electronic files. To obtain the “decryption” key or retrieve data, a ransom is sought by the cybercriminals behind the attack.
Digital kidnappers are targeting enterprises in Southeast Asia, Mr. Yeo said, and the trend is forecast to continue increasing this year and see more complicated attacks.
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