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Trezor wallet reverses address verification protocol following privacy concerns

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The Trezor hardware wallet recently announced that it will integrate the Address Ownership Proof Protocol (AOPP). This is an automated mechanism that was adopted by Trezor as part of its January updates.

However, the hardware wallet maker has since reversed this decision saying that the protocol will be removed as part of its next updates.

Trezor to remove AOPP verification protocol

The AOPP mechanism is one of the crypto regulatory mechanisms required by Switzerland’s financial market regulators. Since 2019, regulators in the country have required external wallet addresses to be verified before withdrawals and deposits are made to non-custodian wallets.

According to Trezor, the protocol will be removed “after careful consideration of recent feedback.” The feedback came from wallet users on both Reddit and Twitter. The users stated that integrating AOPP showed that Trezor did not consider the loss of user privacy, and it supported extreme regulations in the crypto sector.

In a blog post, Trezor admitted that it had not expected its users to receive the news negatively. The wallet further noted that it was open to public scrutiny. The company’s fast response to having the feature removed showed that it was keen on the sentiment of social media users towards the company.

Trezor says it doesn’t fully agree with AOPP regulations

In the explanation, the hardware wallet maker noted that it does not agree with the regulatory framework surrounding AOPP. One of the risks of this protocol is data leaks due to the strict verification process. AOPP requires a Know Your Customer (KYC) compliance before buying Bitcoin.

“Our sole aim was to make a withdrawal to self-custody easier for users in countries with strict regulation, but we acknowledge that more harm than good could be done in the end of this were viewed as proactive compliance with regulations we do not agree with,” the announcement said.

The decision by Trezor has caused ripple effects, with other hardware wallet providers following suit. Hardware wallets such as BlueWallet, Samourai Wallet and Sparrow wallet have also removed the automated protocol.

Privacy is a sensitive issue in the crypto community. Therefore, while users might not be negatively affected by the AOPP protocol, any risk of exposing their private data is taken with great concern. Additionally, integrating AOPP on a popular wallet such as Trezor could contribute to enhanced scrutiny and surveillance by government bodies.

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