Trezor Adopts Swiss Travel Rule Protocol for Private Crypto Wallets

The protocol automatically identifies an unhosted wallet when crypto is withdrawn from a Swiss exchange.

AccessTimeIconJan 27, 2022 at 12:50 p.m. UTC
Updated May 11, 2023 at 4:58 p.m. UTC
10 Years of Decentralizing the Future
May 29-31, 2024 - Austin, TexasThe biggest and most established global event for everything crypto, blockchain and Web3.Register Now

An automated way of sharing proof that a user owns a private cryptocurrency wallet when transacting with a regulated exchange in Switzerland is being integrated by hardware wallet Trezor.

Developed by crypto startup 21 Analytics, the Address Ownership Proof Protocol (AOPP), which also works with wallets like BitBox and Edge, was designed to accommodate the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority's (FINMA) implementation of anti-money laundering (AML) requirements for cryptocurrency firms.

Going beyond the recommendations made by global AML watchdog, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), crypto requirements in Switzerland include the identification of private wallets transacting with the country’s virtual asset service providers (VASPs).

The march of AML requirements into the realm of private or non-custodial wallets is something most countries are only at the initial stage of mulling over – often to the horror of crypto advocates. But Switzerland and Singapore are already requiring identification for transactions over $1,000 with what the FATF calls “unhosted wallets.”

“Switzerland has some extra harsh regulations when it comes to the 'travel rule,' and FINMA was always at the forefront implementing everything the FATF publishes very quickly,” 21 Analytics CEO Lucas Betschart said in an interview. “So we have the Travel Rule actually being enforced here.”

When it comes to determining ownership of private wallets, VASPs in Switzerland have been asking users to submit a screenshot of their wallet, or conduct a “Satoshi Test,” whereby a specific amount of coins is sent to a verified wallet to confirm their receipt. Another way is manual signing in using a private key, Betschart said. AOPP streamlines and automates that manual signing process, he added.

“We’re glad to see more individuals taking custody of their crypto assets,” Marek Palatinus, CEO of SatoshiLabs, the maker of the Trezor hardware wallet, said in a statement. “AOPP makes it simpler and faster for users to withdraw to the safest place for their coins: their Trezor.”

Betschart also pointed out that 95% of transactions from Swiss VASPs don’t go to another Swiss VASP, but rather to a top 20 crypto exchange such as Binance, BitMEX or Bitfinex, most of which have no travel rule solution in place yet. The result is that customers of Swiss VASPs send and receive a lot of crypto via their own non-custodial wallets, often using AOPP, Betschart said.

“It’s an interesting effect of activating the travel rule in Switzerland that more people are forced to use their own wallet,” Betschart said. “So it’s not like everyone is sharing data, but just that everyone is sending to their own wallet before they can send assets to Binance, for example.”

UPDATE (Jan. 27, 13:18 UTC): Removes sub phrase "which is obviously a security risk" in the second line of the sixth paragraph.


Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.

CoinDesk is an award-winning media outlet that covers the cryptocurrency industry. Its journalists abide by a strict set of editorial policies. In November 2023, CoinDesk was acquired by the Bullish group, owner of Bullish, a regulated, digital assets exchange. The Bullish group is majority-owned by; both companies have interests in a variety of blockchain and digital asset businesses and significant holdings of digital assets, including bitcoin. CoinDesk operates as an independent subsidiary with an editorial committee to protect journalistic independence. CoinDesk employees, including journalists, may receive options in the Bullish group as part of their compensation.

Ian Allison

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

Learn more about Consensus 2024, CoinDesk's longest-running and most influential event that brings together all sides of crypto, blockchain and Web3. Head to to register and buy your pass now.