On 7 November, the cryptocurrency exchange Gemini declared adjustments to align with the latest Travel Rule limitations for its UK customers.
Gemini announced its decision to limit outgoing cryptocurrency transfers to a selection of 58 virtual asset service providers (VASPs) registered under the Travel Rule Universal Solution Technology (TRUST) from 17 November onwards.
Screenshot taken from Gemini:
Gemini’s Compliance Measures
Gemini’s recent measures to adhere to the controversial Travel Rule in the United Kingdom have been met with criticism.
Bitcoin analyst, Josef Teteka, expressed concerns over the new restrictions, asserting that they will restrict users’ freedom for self-custody.
“The forthcoming restrictions from Gemini UK will make it much harder for Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency users to move their assets into self custody. This goes against the fundamental principles of Bitcoin, where the user rightly enjoys freedom, privacy where required, and ultimately self-sovereignty.”
Users on the platform X (formerly known as Twitter) also conveyed their disapproval of the recent Gemini measures.
Impact of the Restrictions
Gemini’s move to comply with the Travel Rule will involve restrictions on outward cryptocurrency transfers to a specific list of registered Virtual Asset Service Providers (VASPs).
Incoming transfers from non-TRUST VASPs will also face limitations, leading to account freezes.
Teteka also warned that such measures represent a troubling trend towards over-regulation, which could limit the freedom of citizens to save, spend, and transfer their assets as they choose.
He highlighted the potential risk of crypto exchanges assuming control and ownership of their users’ digital assets.
The Travel Rule was established by the United Nations Agency Financial Action Task Force in 2019.
It aims to curb the use of cryptocurrencies for illegal activities by mandating VASPs and financial institutions to share information about the senders and recipients of virtual assets.
The UK began enforcing the Travel Rule in September 2022, prompting Gemini’s recent adjustments.