Introducing the BitMEX Principles for Data Storage in the Travel Rule Era

Policy and compliance geeks have circled June 2021 in their calendars as one of the most important dates this year for the crypto space – the date by which the global anti-money laundering and terrorist financing watchdog, the FATF, expects both countries and the crypto industry to implement the so-called ‘travel rule’.

The rule is expansive, and the implications vast – requiring virtual asset service providers (VASPs) like crypto exchanges and custody solutions to share originator and beneficiary information between each other whenever a transaction is sent between them. This is similar to what we see today in the traditional financial sector whenever a wire transfer is made.

As this date draws closer, so does the prospect of massive implications for the security of user and transaction data to be stored on the servers of countless VASPs around the world. 

The industry has already come together to build data format standards and solutions for the secure and immediate transmission of this travel rule data, but we think one issue isn’t getting the full attention it deserves – the lack of industry standards for storing the data mandated by it. It’s not an overstatement to say that, eventually, the personal and financial data of billions will be affected. And given the cybersecurity risks inherent to our modern digital ecosystem, we should all be concerned about the risk of that data not being adequately protected. 

That’s why we’re pleased to release the BitMEX Travel Rule Data Storage Principles, which our IT security and compliance teams have developed as a starting point for discussion from which all stakeholders can provide input. In the spirit of open discussion, we’re releasing the Principles as non-copyright open source, in the hopes that it sparks debate and collaboration between regulators, industry, and interested users. 

Malcolm Wright, 100x Group’s Chief Compliance Officer who led the development of the Principles, said: “We are proud to provide this as an open-source, non-copyrighted resource for Virtual Asset Services Providers, compliance and security professionals, policymakers, and the rapidly growing community of those who are using virtual assets. We invite you to build upon this work. We hope it sparks discussion between regulators, industry, and users. As we iterate on these principles, we hope the final product will help to safeguard the privacy of the billions of people the travel rule will ultimately affect.”

No matter what part of the crypto / digital finance world you’re from, if you have some perspective on the Principles, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. We’re looking forward to collaborating with you.