Travel Rule

United Kingdom

Travel Rule required from
Travel Rule regulation still pending

TLDR: The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the UK introduced its crypto-asset guidance in July 2019, which came into effect on January 10, 2020. The FCA now requires crypto businesses to be registered (including crypto to crypto exchanges). However, it makes no mention of the Travel Rule yet.

The UK’s FCA issued its Guidance on Crypto Assets in July 2019. They implemented the European Union’s 5th Anti-Money Laundering Directive (AMLD5) starting January 10, 2020 but took it further to include crypto to crypto exchanges as well as impose on crypto businesses ongoing monitoring of all their customers.

All UK based crypto companies are now required to register with the FCA and adhere to AML/CTF policy. Existing businesses who were unregistered can continue operations without registering until January 21, 2021, but will be under FCA supervision.

Here is the FCA’s definition of what is a VASP:

46. However, firms should note that 5AMLD will be transposed into UK law by 10 January 2020 to introduce AML requirements to certain cryptoasset activities. The Government has announced that in the UK they will go beyond the scope of 5AMLD which proposes to extend AML/CTF regulation to entities carrying out the following activities:
• exchange services between one cryptoasset and another, or services allowing value transactions within one cryptoasset exchange or peer-to-peer exchange service provider
• cryptoasset Automated Teller Machines
• transfer of cryptoassets (In this context of cryptoassets, transfer means to conduct a transaction on behalf of another natural or legal person that moves a cryptoasset from one cryptoasset address or account to another)
• issuance of new cryptoassets, for example through ICOs
• the publication of open-source software (which includes, but is not limited to, noncustodian wallet software and other types of cryptoasset related software)

Note that the guidance includes Crypto to Crypto exchanges and publishers of Open-Source software such as non-custodial wallets and maybe even decentralized exchanges. It is as yet unclear what this means in practice. If you are operating in the UK, now would be a very good time to consult with legal counsel.

So far there has not been a specific mention of the FATF Travel Rule, but it is likely to be implemented soon.

Last updated
June 22, 2020