Coinbase-Led Travel Rule Group Grows Members, Expands to Canada and Singapore

The original group of founding crypto blue chips has now swollen to over 30, including heavyweights like Binance US, Circle, Robinhood and Paxos.

AccessTimeIconMay 24, 2022 at 12:03 p.m. UTC
Updated May 24, 2022 at 1:23 p.m. UTC

Ian Allison is an award-winning senior reporter at CoinDesk. He holds ETH.

The Travel Rule Universal Solution Technology (TRUST), originally a group of five U.S. companies building an anti-money laundering (AML) system for cryptocurrency transactions, has grown its membership to over 30 firms and expanded its jurisdictional footprint to include Canada and Singapore.

TRUST, originally kick-started by crypto exchange Coinbase (COIN) with help from BitGo, Gemini, Kraken and Fidelity, emerged from stealth mode almost a year ago, at which time it went by the less catchily titled U.S. Travel Rule Working Group (USTRWG).

Since officially launching, TRUST has gone live in Canada and Singapore, and is actively working to expand to other global jurisdictions, including Germany and other countries in the European Union, according to a press release.

The original founding membership has now swollen to over 30, including heavyweights like Binance US, Circle, Robinhood (HOOD) and Paxos. Having started out supporting just bitcoin (BTC) and ether (ETH) transactions, TRUST now allows integration of all ERC-20 tokens, a spokeswoman confirmed via email.

The crypto industry was given AML marching orders from the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) back in mid-2019, requiring virtual asset service providers (VASP) such as exchanges, trading desks and custodians transfer personally identifiable information along with crypto transactions over a certain threshold. Since then a number of proposed solutions and consortia efforts have been tabled as well as a messaging content data standard for digital assets transactions.

“There’s no doubt in my mind that there will be multiple travel rule solution networks that will emerge and probably there will be some interoperability of sorts that needs to be figured out between TRUST and other solutions,” said Canada-based crypto custodian Balance CEO George Bordianu in an interview, adding:

“But by and large, it seems like TRUST will be the predominant one, so this is where we have put in our time and effort.”

TRUST works by guaranteeing no central storage of customers’ personal data, while using a system of digital signatures between VASPs to ensure the correct address is being used in bi-lateral data sharing channels.

Speaking about joining TRUST, John Mannino, chief compliance officer at sFOX – which is regulated in the U.S. and in Singapore – compared the crypto industry’s problem solving response to the growing pains of financial derivatives markets.

“During the growth of derivatives, we had sort of similar situations involving industry-wide problems,” Mannino said in an interview. “Rather than each company going off and trying to solve this problem independently, when we come together we can solve it once and then everybody can use it.”

The current full list of TRUST members includes: Amber Group, Anchorage, Balance, Binance US, BitGo, bitFlyer, Bittrex, BlockFi, BlocPal, Cake DeFi, Circle, Coinbase, Coinhako, Coinsmart, Coinsquare, Crypto.com, Custodia, Fidelity Digital AssetsSM, Gemini, Kraken, Netcoins, Nexo, Paxos, Robinhood, sFOX, Shakepay, Standard Custody & Trust, Symbridge, Tetra Trust, TradeStation, Unbanked, VirgoCX, Voyager, Wealthsimple, Zero Hash and Zodia Custody.

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Ian Allison is an award-winning senior reporter at CoinDesk. He holds ETH.

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Ian Allison is an award-winning senior reporter at CoinDesk. He holds ETH.

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