Trezor removes controversial address verification protocol, other wallets follow suit

For Bitcoin withdrawals or deposits to non-custodial wallets of customers, Swiss financial crypto intermediaries require proof of ownership. This is done using an automated method called the Address Ownership Proof Protocol (AOPP).

As part of the January update, Trezor introduced AOPP signing. This allows users to create signatures that comply with certain AOPP standards. Trezor, following careful review of feedback received on Jan. 28, announced that it would remove the protocol from the next Trezor Suite upgrade.

Recent feedback was from Reddit and Twitter users, who felt that Trezor’s use of AOPP indicated his support for more regulation and a disregard of privacy.

In our February Trezor Suite update, we will remove AOPP. More on our decision: https://t.co/hMDenbdjcg
— Trezor (@Trezor), January 28, 2022

Trezor acknowledged that it had underestimated how the feature would be received, but said that it welcomes scrutiny from the public. It is a testament to the power of social media sentiment that Trezor listened and responded quickly.

According to the hardware wallet manufacturer, it was against the regulations concerning AOPP. This refers to the potential data leak risk associated with the use of a strict identification process such as Know Your Customer (KYC) in order to purchase Bitcoin. The company clarified its intentions:

“Our only goal was to make self-custody withdrawal easier for users living in countries that have strict regulations, but we recognize that this could cause more harm than good if it were seen as proactive compliance to regulations we don’t agree with.”

Other hardware wallets, such as Sparrow Wallet or Samourai Wallet, have also chosen to follow Trezor’s lead and eliminate the automated protocol.

@SparrowWallet: Removing the AOPP Next Release @bluewalletio- Removing the AOPP Next Release @Trezor- Congratulations to these projects for their strength and resolve to listen. Congrats to the community who successfully made their desires known https://t.co/RuqnxgbJfu
— Samourai Wallet (@SamouraiWallet), January 28, 2022

Related: Engineer hacks Trezor wallet and recovers $2M of ‘lost crypto

Although the AOPP protocol will not directly or adversely impact non-custodial users of wallets, freedom and decentralization are core principles to crypto communities that value privacy. The principal concern is that AOPP could set a precedent for greater government surveillance and influence.

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Eileen Wilson

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