Since 2019, Swiss financial crypto intermediaries have required proof of ownership of an external wallet’s address for Bitcoin withdrawals and deposits to non-custodial wallets. One automated technique for doing so is the Address Ownership Proof Protocol, or AOPP.
The Trezor hardware wallet received an upgrade last week that enabled AOPP signing, allowing users to create signatures that comply with the AOPP standard, which is usable in some jurisdictions. Trezor announced on Jan. 28 that it will remove this protocol from the forthcoming Trezor Suite version “after careful consideration of recent criticism.”
Users on Reddit and Twitter were concerned that Trezor’s use of AOPP signalled support for more regulation and a disregard for the risk of privacy loss.
In a blog post announcing the discontinuance, Trezor said that it “underestimated how this functionality would be valued”. But that the company “welcomes public critique”. Its capacity to listen to and respond to consumers so quickly demonstrates the power of social media sentiment.
The hardware wallet company claims it is in violation of the AOPP standards. Specifically the risks of data leakage connected with adopting a demanding identification method. Such as Know Your Customer, or KYC, to buy Bitcoin. The firm confirmed its intentions:
“Our main goal was to make the withdrawal to self-custody easier for users in countries with severe regulation. But we recognise that if this was regarded as preemptive compliance with legislation we disagree with, more harm than good could be done in the end.”
BlueWallet, Sparrow, as well as Samourai chose to follow Trezor’s lead
Sparrow Wallet and Samourai Wallet are examples of other hardware wallets. As well as BlueWallet has likewise chosen to follow Trezor’s lead and eliminate the automated protocol.
The AOPP protocol is unlikely to have a direct or negative impact on users of non-custodial wallets. However, the crypto community values decentralisation and independence. The most serious concern is that the introduction of AOPP would set a precedent for more government control and monitoring.