It is no longer a requirement for Dutch cryptocurrency exchanges to verify wallet addresses of its customers after De Nederlandsche Bank (DNB) reversed their policy in a May 20 announcement.
Bitonic crypto exchange had taken the central bank of the Netherlands to court in January in objection of the so called ‘whitelisting’ policy. Since 2019 it was mandatory for customers to verify their crypto wallet addresses by providing screenshots prior to transferring their crypto off the exchanges.
After a positive ruling by the Dutch court in April, the DNB was given 6 weeks to review its existing KYC requirements.
So yesterday, just a day before the deadline, the Dutch regulator formally acknowledged Bitonic’s view that the requirement as presented was unlawful and should never have been made during registration:
“After reconsideration, DNB comes to the conclusion that this interpretation of Article 2, second paragraph, RtSw, given by DNB, does not do enough justice to the discretion that an institution has to implement this standard in a risk-oriented manner. DNB has therefore incorrectly set the registration requirement as a condition. for the registration of Bitonic.”
DNB’s statement further read:
“DNB declares the objection well-founded and revokes its primary decision of 17 November 2020, insofar as this relates to the interpretation of Article 2, second paragraph, of the RtSw with the registration requirement, advocated by DNB.”
Bitonic immediately announced that they will remove the wallet verification measures. In an announcement on their website, they say:
“We are pleased that this relieves our customers of an unlawful and onerous procedure. At the same time, we are concerned that the regulator only responded to the complaints of industry after the intervention of the court. What if Bitonic hadn’t gone to court?”
The outcome is a big and important win for the the Netherlands as well as the international crypto community. Global financial watchdogs are looking for ways to control crypto. The Bitonic case makes it clear that regulators may not unduly deny crypto-companies access to the markets solely on the basis of unlawful requirements.
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