Trezor, BitBox and BlueWallet are among the bitcoin (BTC) wallet makers that have integrated into their products a protocol that automatically sends proof of ownership of personal wallets to exchanges. The functionality is designed to comply with the controversial “Travel Rule” proposed by the FATF (Financial Action Task Force), in Switzerland and the Netherlands.
The protocol, developed by the company 21 Analytics, is known as AOPP, acronym for proof of address ownership protocol. According to its website, it is an implementation that “speeds up and automates proof of ownership of addresses” that users must provide to Swiss and Dutch exchanges when they want to withdraw their bitcoins to a wallet for private use.
To comply with the FATF Travel Rule, governments such as Switzerland require regulated exchanges to verify that their client really controls the address where they wish to withdraw their funds, when they belong to self-managed wallets. That is why it asks the user for proof of ownership of the provided address.
Currently, most Swiss exchanges ask users for a screenshot of their wallet or, failing that, “a Satoshi proof, which involves sending a specific number of coins to a verified wallet to confirm receipt,” the official explained. medium Crypto Valley Journal.
What is the FATF Travel Rule
The FATF Travel Rule has been questioned by actors in the cryptocurrency sector since it was announced in 2019. This rule is part of the regulations suggested by the international entity, for the control of cryptocurrency trade.
As CriptoNoticias has reported, this guideline establishes that virtual asset service providers (VASPs), such as cryptocurrency exchanges, must collect and share the personal data of their clients if they carry out transactions that exceed USD 1,000. Its critics emphasize that the rule has a detrimental effect on the privacy of users.
According to Coindesk, Marek Palatinus, CEO of Satoshi Labs, the firm responsible for Trezor, spoke positively of the AOPP protocol, claiming that it makes it easier to withdraw funds from exchanges and allows users to hold their coins. Trezor is one of the most popular hardware wallets on the market, along with a few others that have also integrated the functionality, such as Bitbox, BlueWallet, Sparrow, and Edge.
The community reacts and wallet developers respond
However, the information, disclosed this Tuesday, January 27, caused various reactions on the social network Twitter, which led the manufacturers to release statements clarifying their position on the integration of AOPP.
Safe he tweeted that “not supporting AOPP will lead to helping the government round up people on exchanges.” The firm maintains that adding support for the proof of address ownership protocol will prevent user funds from being held by the governments of Switzerland and the Netherlands.
For its part, BlueWallet posted on his Twitter account that, in any case, “users who do not have access to AOPP must comply with FATF laws”, in order to access their coins. “If you don’t like the FATF, you have to complain to your politicians,” reads the tweet from the wallet’s developers.
Sparrow’s representative, Craig Raw, I manage their intervention in social networks in a different way, participating in a debate with users. As a result, he agreed that the addition of AOPP set a bad precedent, and announced that in the next wallet update, the protocol would be removed.
Samourai Wallet, another relevant player among the creators of non-custodial wallets, expressed in a tweet thread which will not incorporate support for AOPP. In his view, the protocol “undermines self-custody” as it legitimizes “the concept that self-custody requires permission and compliance.”
Furthermore, Samourai Wallet says that AOPP undermines the pseudonymous use of Bitcoin. “Linking identifying information to what is supposed to be a pseudonymous UTXO is a serious privacy issue in and of itself,” said the developers of the privacy-focused wallet.