Source: Travel Rule Protocol Working Group
The Travel Rule Protocol Working Group (TRP Working Group), a global independent industry body of leading virtual asset service providers (VASPs) dedicated to creating standards that adhere to the Financial Action Task Force’s (FATF) R.16 Travel Rule recommendations, is pleased to announce today that it has published Version 1.0.0 of its standard inter-VASP messaging API for Travel Rule data exchange (TRP API).
The free, easy-to-use standard for communications between VASPs encourages mainstream adoption of virtual assets by enabling compliance with anti-money-laundering (AML), counter-terrorism-financing and know-your customer (KYC) protocols in line with the FATF’s recommendations.
Due to its simplicity, implementation of the TRP API can be completed rapidly, and allows VASPs to integrate the API directly into existing systems. A number of TRP Working Group members have created implementations of the TRP API that can be utilized immediately, with no need to pay a governing body or obtain licenses to use the protocol.
The TRP Working Group was created in response to the 39-member FATF’s AML-related Travel Rule recommendations which have gained broad support from member country regulators and the wider industry. The Working Group was started by Standard Chartered, ING and BitGo, and currently includes members from more than 25 organisations, including OSL (current Working Group chair).
The TRP Version 1.0.0 utilizes two simple RESTful APIs for querying address ownership and sending required originator and beneficiary information about virtual asset transfers between VASPs and other financial institutions.
“The impetus for the TRP API was a desire by the Working Group to ensure an easy path to Travel Rule compliance, as well as communications standardization and interoperability for VASPs around the world,” said Maxime de Guillebon of SC Ventures, Standard Chartered’s innovation, fintech investments and ventures unit. “Our API allows organizations to do this as they mature, rather than attempting to integrate a number of already existing complex solutions during critical periods of time.”
In addition, the TRP API includes an extension mechanism that allows users to add additional functionality - which may be required for regional or company-specific compliance reasons - without making the core protocol more complex. The TRP API allows the originating user to select the beneficiary VASP, address directory lookup and validation prior to sending; and/or a hybrid of these options. The API also gives beneficiary VASPs the option to prevent unwanted transfers from originating VASPs from being sent to the blockchain.
Hervé Francois, blockchain initiative lead at ING bank and Pyctor CEO, a digital assets custody solution said: “We’re excited for the future as TRP is scalable in the financial sector while maximising interoperability with other emerging Travel Rule solutions. We are implementing the TRP protocol in Pyctor and looking forward to driving the ecosystem adoption even further.”
“We created the TRP API to be flexible and pragmatic allowing a wide range of industry participants across jurisdictions to adopt it with minimal effort,” said OSL’s Andrew Davidson, who chairs the TRP Working Group. “For compliance purposes, we ensured the API strictly adheres to the Travel Rule recommendations on quickly and securely sending accurate and required beneficiary and originator information.”
A key part of the path to interoperability for the TRP API was adopting the InterVASP Joint Working Group’s IVMS101 data standard, which has been well supported across the industry. A number of the key members who helped create the IVMS101 standard have also been part of the TRP Working Group.
“Publication of the TRP API version 1.0.0 marks a significant milestone in the industry-wide adoption of the IVMS101 data model standard,” said Siân Jones, Senior Partner at XReg Consulting, who previously sat on the FATF Policy Development Group that worked on virtual assets. “With the TRP API, VASPs now have an easy way to meet regulatory obligations, while still assessing the broad range of IVMS101-compliant Travel Rule solutions coming onto the market.”