Dutch Central Bank reverses decision on tighter checks for crypto withdrawals

The Dutch Central Bank, DNB, has reversed its decision to enforce stricter measures for withdrawing cryptocurrencies from exchanges, according to Dutch crypto exchange Bitonic. 

In January, the central bank set out rules that required crypto exchanges to collect additional data from their users when they withdraw cryptocurrencies. Namely, users had to add the recipient address — where they are sending funds to — to their whitelist and provide a photo to "prove" that they indeed owned the address. Crypto exchanges in the region, such as Bitstamp and Bitonic, swiftly started enforcing the requirements.

The central bank's reversal on the policy comes almost two months after Bitonic filed an objection over the stringent rules. "Aside from the fact that verifying every address for every transaction has no technical merit, it is also a serious violation of our customers' right to privacy," Bitonic said, in a statement when it filed the complaint in March.

In April, the Preliminary Relief Judge of the Rotterdam District Court ruled that the crypto exchange had every right to challenge the new requirements and that DNB must consider Bitonic's objections and make a decision within six weeks.

DNB has now said that the original requirement "does not do enough justice to the discretion that an institution has to implement this standard in a risk-oriented manner." It declared the objection well-founded and revoked the wallet verification requirements.

The central bank still requires crypto exchanges to take adequate measures to check that the person withdrawing the funds is actually the recipient. But it has added a clarification to the official guidance that states providers are able to choose the verification methods that suit them and their customers, rather than having to follow any specific measures.

Bitonic stated that it was pleased with the outcome and will be removing the wallet verification measures as soon as possible.