The Travel Rule Working Group (TRP Working Group), a global independent industry body of virtual asset service providers dedicated to creating standards that adhere to the Financial Action Task Force’s (FATF) R.16 Travel Rule recommendation, created The Travel Rule Protocol (TRP). This article covers factors to consider when choosing TRP as a Travel Rule messaging protocol.
TRP was explicitly developed to launch a “first-generation, minimal, workable, and pragmatic API specification for compliance with the FATF Travel Rule in a timely manner, that also minimizes fragmentation and maximises interoperability.”
The protocol was developed as an industry initiative by Standard Chartered, ING, and BitGo, amongst others, to solve the technical aspect of the travel rule. Through welcoming open industry collaboration, the working group has since grown to encompass a large number of leading organizations from across the global Virtual Asset Industry and continues to welcome further organizations to join.
TRP is a messaging protocol. VASPs will still need to partner with a fully integrated Travel Rule solution provider or build additional components to integrate TRP.
TRP is a minimal API. Due to its simplicity, TRP API implementation can be completed rapidly and allows VASPs to integrate the API directly into existing systems. Several TRP Working Group members, including Notabene, have created implementations of the TRP API that can be utilized immediately.
TRP uses the InterVASP IVMS-101 standard as it’s core data model, making it easy to interoperate between TRP and other protocols.
TRP has an open governance model. TRP hosts regular weekly meetings, chat rooms for more frequent collaboration, and emails for more infrequent formal announcements. Industry participants who wish to help towards the goals are encouraged to join the working group.
The TRP is intended to support transactions between custodial wallets, but there are discussions for future extensions to support non-custodial wallets.
Yes, TRP is live and has been in production since 2020. There are currently more than 20 VASPs transacting with the TRP protocol.
The Travel Rule Protocol has been incrementally developed by a worldwide self-selecting group of leading industry participants, collaborating openly and sharing to develop and evolve the solution. There is no single central body or organization behind the protocol, only collaboration.
TRP is royalty and license-free. However, any fees, licenses related to implementation, service of software providers, etc., are the implementing VASP’s responsibility. Further costs may include but are not limited to documenting the legal and contractual arrangement ensuring that any information exchange is done in compliance with applicable laws, e.g., GDPR.
As a member of the TRP Working Group, Notabene fully supports integration with TRP. Notabene provides an easy-to-use turn-key Travel Rule SAAS solution, which includes support for TRP. Every Notabene customer has a live TRP endpoint.
In production today
Due to the simple nature of TRP, anyone could set up a TRP endpoint without waiting for a network to be set up. This has helped TRP reach production status before all other open travel rule protocols.
TRP is royalty and license-free. Any fees incurred would be related to internal implementation costs and any costs of a service provider. All Notabene customers have free access to TRP as part of their standard subscription.
Currently, TRP is the most straightforward Travel Rule messaging protocol, as it is REST-based with an HTTP standard. There are two endpoints, (a) address query and (b) transfer notification. TRP does not use blockchain technology to send customer data between VASPs.
Without a formal gatekeeper or extraneous connections to join, many VASPs can plug into TRP to start their Travel Rule compliance journey now. If many VASPs select to integrate TRP, transaction flow will not be hampered. Open networks support the initial ethos of the blockchain space.
The minimal core protocol contains mandatory elements that cover the bare minimum FATF R16 requirements. TRP offers an extension mechanism to fit the needs of compliance requirements in different jurisdictions.
There’s no authentication at a TRP endpoint, which requires that each VASP create bilateral agreements or find another method for authentication of counterpart VASPs. Notabene solves this using TR: Now.
Singaporean VASPs Luno, Crypto.com, and Xfers have successfully completed the second phase of Notabene’s Travel Rule testnet. Participants exchanged automated Travel Rule transfers in various real-world scenarios using TRP and TRNow, Notabene’s in-house solution, as messaging channels. Learn more.
TRP’s overall score: 90%*
VASP support ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
The Travel Rule Protocol (TRP) is a minimal, pragmatic API for compliance with FATF Travel Rule recommendations for virtual assets.
TRP relies on a REST (Representational State Transfer) API architecture that provides web services and platforms interoperability. By providing a RESTful service, TRP can manipulate web data to a uniform representation that can be utilized by other users of the network regardless of their base technology.
While the protocol development is still early, the following seems to be the current features:
Find the latest TRP specifications here.
If your organization requires additional support outside of TRP’s current offerings, requesting changes on TRP is reasonably straightforward. Fill out this short survey to gain access to the weekly calls where you can raise your issues.
GitLab: Travel Rule Protocol Specifications
*Notabene's co-founders have deep knowledge and experience in the areas of privacy, identity, and data sharing. Co-founders Andrés Junge and Pelle Braendgaard have successfully created and worked with thousands of standards. This rating is in their unbiased opinion. Please note that Notabene does not compete with TRP in any way.