Gemini has announced that its U.K. branch will restrict crypto transfers to Travel Rule Universal Solution Technology (TRUST)-registered Virtual Asset Service Providers (VASPs) starting on November 17.
The move is a response to Travel Rule regulations that require VASPs to share information about the sender and receiver in crypto transactions.
“In the UK, the Travel Rule applies to all transactions, necessitating VASPs to share data such as the sender and recipient names and crypto address. The specific information required may differ based on the risk profile of the transaction,” said Gemini.
Gemini will limit outgoing transfers of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies to 58 registered crypto-related firms, such as Anchorage, Binance.US, BitGet, BitGo, Coinbase and Circle, among others. Gemini will also restrict incoming transfers from non-TRUST VASPs starting in December.
“Gemini may freeze and/or restrict users who are attempting to make inbound transfers to Gemini from a non-TRUST VASP,” Gemini said in a statement. “This is due to these transactions potentially missing the required information to ensure transparency of the transaction.”
On October 8, the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) Financial Promotions Regime introduced new rules for cryptoassets. Following the announcement, Gemini emphasized that it is committed to prioritizing compliance.
“Since inception, Gemini has been committed to putting regulation and compliance at the forefront of everything we do. Our approach to these new FCA regulations is no exception, and we have been working tirelessly over the past several months to implement the rules,” said Gemini in a statement on October 19.
To comply with the new regulations, Gemini restructured its operations. Gemini also launched a new social media account on 𝕏, @GeminiUK, to keep Gemini’s U.K.-based customers updated on its news and offers.
“We added the required risk warnings and associated risk summaries for customers in the UK on our social channels, mobile app, and web interfaces,” said Gemini.
Gemini has adjusted its incentives and promotions for U.K.-based customers to align with the rules. The implementation of these changes is divided into two phases, with the first phase having been in effect since October 8 and the subsequent changes scheduled to go live on January 8, 2024.
The U.K. government has also passed a law called the “Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Bill,” which grants law enforcement greater authority to seize cryptocurrency assets connected to criminal activities such as money laundering, fraud and ransomware attacks.
This law has been in effect since October 26. The bill was introduced in September 2022 and was improved to tackle concerns regarding money laundering and terrorist financing.
“The bill will also strengthen anti-money laundering powers and help facilitate better information sharing about suspected offenses. In certain situations, businesses will be able to share information more easily for the purpose of preventing, investigating, or detecting economic crime. Civil liability will not apply to breaches of confidentiality for businesses supplying information about economic criminal offenses,” U.K. accounting firm Swindell Accounting said.
The law aims to better equip the U.K. authorities in the fight against cryptoy-related crimes. CryptoSlate reported that the Metropolitan Police had confiscated millions in crypto assets connected to crimes even before the bill was passed.
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