Bitconic, a Netherlands-based Bitcoin (BTC) exchange, has informed its users that they now need to comply with a new verification measure in order to continue to use its services. The change comes following new requirements from the Dutch central bank, published in November 2019, which stipulate:
“Crypto service providers must check whether their clients and any ultimate beneficiary owners (UBOs) are on a Dutch or European sanctions list and report any hits to DNB. Risk-based checks are not permitted […] compliance also entails that institutions must check incoming and outgoing payment transfers.”
Bitonic has informed customers that they must now, therefore, provide additional details, including which kind of wallet they use. They must also verify that they are the “legitimate” controller of the Bitcoin address they provide to make withdrawals from Bitonic. To do this, they need to upload a screenshot from their wallet or sign a message.
All these measures, Bitonic states, are “a nuisance,” emphasizing, “we do not agree with the measures ourselves.” Crypto journalist Aaron van Wirdum notes on Twitter that the requirements far exceed those put on crypto firms in the rest of Europe:
As imposed by the Dutch central bank (@DNB_NL), Bitcoin exchanges in The Netherlands must now ask their customers to “prove” they really control their withdrawal address. No other European country requires this.
— Aaron van Wirdum (@AaronvanW) November 17, 2020
In April of this year, as part of its implementation of the European Union’s Fifth Anti-Money Laundering Directive, or AMLD5, the Dutch Ministry of Finance mandated the Dutch Central Bank to monitor the country’s cryptocurrency industry. At the time, experts were already warning that the finance ministry could be overreaching its authority in appointing the institution to oversee crypto firms.
“This is much more than what the [AMLD5] has indicated. This envisaged way of supervision is unusual,” said Dutch lawyer Frank ‘t Hart at the time.