Vietnam’s energetic startup scene could provide fertile ground for blockchain innovation in the country. (Photo credit: STR/AFP/Getty Images)
During the past several decades, Vietnam has shown what the World Bankdescribes as a “resilient” economy, thanks to rapid GDP growth. Society-wide, overall health and education outcomes have risen in recent years and the rate of extreme poverty dropped to 3%. This year, Vietnam’s economic growth could reach 6.7%. However, there’s still plenty of room for improvement.
Looking at financial inclusion alone, only 31% of adults in Vietnam have bank accounts. But smartphone ownership is on the rise, with 40% of the population expected to own these devices by 2021, which means app-based, blockchain financial services could bring the underbanked into the fold.
Instead of struggling to secure credit or invest their money, more people could grow their wealth and establish financial histories. “This presents excellent opportunities for Vietnamese startups to bootstrap their ideas and grow their user base, specifically by tapping in our massive underbanked population,” says Nicole Nguyen, head of corporate marketing at Vietnam’s Infinity Blockchain Labs.
It’s clear that interest in blockchain technologies is growing rapidly in the country. Earlier this month, more than 2,000 people attended the Blockchain Week conference, a two-day event held in Ho Chi Minh City and organized by Infinity Blockchain Labs.
Headquartered in Ho Chi Minh City, Infinity Blockchain Labs is a research and development company that focuses on the use of blockchain technology in fintech and regtech. Part of its mission is to “connect the dots and bring together key ecosystem players in Vietnam to sustainably grow [the] blockchain industry in the country,” as Nguyen describes it.