Digital asset exchange Bitstamp has reportedly banned Netherlands-based users from withdrawing crypto to external wallets without first verifying they own the receiving address.
According to a letter authored by Bitstamp that was shared on Twitter by user “Bitcoin Marcus,” Bitstamp’s users in Holland must now submit third-party addresses alongside photographic evidence they own the wallet for whitelisting before withdrawals will be processed.
“Whitelisting is a security feature which was already available at Bitstamp, but now it has become obligatory for all customers affected by the new regulation in the Netherlands,” the letter stated.
Yes, this is real. People in the Netherlands now have to KYC their withdraw addresses. pic.twitter.com/S2H5Gszh9X— Bitcoin Marcus ☣️⚡️ (@plan_marcus) January 17, 2021
Bitstamp’s new withdrawal rules are in response to anti-money laundering regulations that were drafted by Dutch regulators in November 2019 and passed into law 12 months later.
These rules stipulate that “crypto service providers must check whether their clients and any ultimate beneficiary owners are on a Dutch or European sanctions list” before providing services, and monitor all “incoming and outgoing payment transfers.”
In November, Netherlands-based Bitcoin exchange Bitconic informed its users they needed to comply with the new verification measures for withdrawals. At the time, the exchange called the enforcement of the central bank’s policy “a nuisance.”
Bitstamp users went further in their criticism of the regulations, with Twitter user “xcsler” mocking the exchange’s efforts to comply with Dutch law:
“Clearly, the next step will be to make people responsible for all subsequent transactions from that whitelisted address.”
In November, quantitative analyst PlanB likened the Dutch regulations to policies recently recommended by U.S. Treasury Secretary, Steve Mnuchin. Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong made waves online at the time, expressing major concerns over Mnuchin’s proposed regulation on self-hosted crypto wallets.
The Netherlands implemented these laws 2 weeks ago. You now have to screenshot your wallet when withdrawing bitcoin from Dutch exchanges, easy but annoying. Make sure you vote people in power that protect property rights and bitcoin, and remove people who don't protect freedom. https://t.co/BCcogxS8IE— PlanB (@100trillionUSD) November 26, 2020
It is not yet clear how incoming U.S. President Joe Biden’s administration will handle KYC/AML enforcement in the crypto space. Lawyer Jake Chervinsky has argued that Mnuchin’s policy has "exactly zero chance" of becoming an enforceable law under Biden’s pick for Treasury Secretary, Janet Yellen.
Cointelegraph reached out to Bitstamp for comment, but did not receive a reply at the time of publication.