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What Is TRP?

Short for Travel Rule Protocol, TRP is an open standard for exchanging crypto-asset transfer-related data between virtual asset service providers (VASPs) as required by the FATF Travel Rule.

Started in mid-2020 by Standard Chartered (Zodia), ING and BitGo, TRP quickly became the leading decentralised protocol, attracting many VASPs and technical solution providers, such as 21 Analytics, as contributors, supporters, and users.

TRP builds on and leverages other open industry standards from the crypto industry such as IVMS and DTIF and standard IT building blocks such as REST and HTTPS. It is an entirely royalty-free specification without any hidden catches or depending on any centralised third-party services.

Leveraging ISO 24165 through DTIF, TRP supports more than 1800 crypto assets.

Travel Rule Protocol (TRP) Logo

The TRP logo perfectly represents its values: Simplicity, Cleanness, and Structure

Being used by a versatile group of companies with specific requirements requested by regulators from different countries, the TRP working group defined the standard to be extendable by design. Its flexible extension mechanism enables adding extra functionality to cover unique business needs.

"By focusing on delivering a simple, pragmatic solution early, TRP has been able to rapidly evolve through a number of iterations and is now a mature protocol with multiple implementations in use today"

Andrew Davidson - Chair of the Travel Rule Protocol Working Group.

TRP as Part of the OpenVASP Association

In late 2021 the TRP working group merged with the OpenVASP association. Now, TRP version 3 combines the best parts of the former OpenVASP protocol and TRP version 2. It is the official protocol of the OpenVASP association for enabling a truly permissionless, peer-to-peer implementation of the Travel Rule as defined in the principles of the association.

The TRP specifications are available on the OpenVASP association public GitLab organisation. The further development of the standard as well as its extensions happen through GitLab merge requests and issues, the OpenVASP Slack, and the weekly call of the TRP working group.

TRP: Decentralised for Global Adoption

One of the main differences of TRP compared to other Travel Rule solutions and protocols is its decentralisation. Since no company owns the efforts, decisions, budget or outcomes, the protocol was built to survive the ever-changing crypto market and allow true participation from whoever wants to join.

Although the protocol is already live and empowering Travel Rule services worldwide, it keeps regular open meetings to define improvements and market needs. Anyone can take part in the development of the Travel Rule Protocol, requesting access through the website.

Learn More about TRP

Why Choose the Travel Rule Protocol (TRP)

TRP stands out as the sole protocol fully aligning with FATF recommendations and possesses the following characteristics:

  • VASPs are not confined to any specific jurisdiction, providing a global perspective.

  • TRP seamlessly integrates into existing solutions and technologies, ensuring familiarity for IT and development teams.

  • TRP operates in a truly permissionless, decentralised, and open manner. Contributions to TRP's development are open to anyone, and more significantly, implementation of the protocol requires no approval from OpenVASP or any other entity, and it is free of charge.

  • TRP stands as the only free and genuinely peer-to-peer standard, devoid of centralised involvement, akin to the principles of Bitcoin.

Tools for Developers:

21 Analytics has taken the lead in enhancing the adoption of the TRP by creating specialised tools for VASP IT and development teams.

  • The Travel Rule Protocol (TRP) Travel Address Encoder

Developers have the capability to encode and decode Travel Addresses* through the TRP Travel Address Encoder/Decoder, in accordance with TRP specifications. This encoding involves a base58check encoded URL containing a unique URL.

Once the Travel Address is decoded by the originating VASP, a request is sent to that URL to seek permission for transaction execution. This tool empowers developers to examine the detailed information within a Travel Address, including the beneficiary VASP name and a user-specific identifier.

Read: The Travel Rule Protocol (TRP) Travel Address Encoder

  • The IVMS 101 Validator

The IVMS 101 validator enables developers to verify the compatibility of entered data with the IVMS 101 data model standard, as utilized in TRP.

Read: 21 Analytics Open-sources Its interVASP IVMS 101 Implementation

  • The LEI Generator

Developers can now generate a random LEI with a valid checksum for testing purposes. A LEI code, a 20-character Legal Entity Identifier, undergoes checksum validation according to ISO7064, similar to European IBANs. In TRP, we leverage the "nationalIdentification" field of IVMS 101 to identify the originating VASP, using LEI for the "nationalIdentifierType

Read: The Benefits of 21 Analytics’ LEI Generator

For further clarification on the TRP specifications, see The Travel Rule Protocol Open Specifications.

What Is the Travel Address?

Similar to an IBAN, a Travel Address is a sequence of characters, akin to a crypto address such as: ta6MNBj2u4art71gN99C6xniYrNfDUF26QgZHdXwd6zzYsvk1S6M5A15K2REHRULnZHnJs88

In Travel Rule transfers, the Travel Address takes the place of the regular wallet address as it encompasses:

  • The VASP controlling the receiving address,

  • The VASP’s URL for receiving Travel Rule data.

It provides heightened user privacy, immediate identification of VASP-hosted wallets, the opportunity for the beneficiary to perform sanction checks prior to sending the assets, and the capability to reject transfers in advance, thus avoiding cumbersome coin quarantining.

Lastly, the Travel Address, by only revealing the beneficiary VASP’s name without personal information, stands as one of the safest and exclusively associated with TRP.

How Does a Travel Address Work?

The beneficiary provides the Travel Address, by logging into their account. Similar to checking their wallet address, the Travel Address is visible to the beneficiary (Ben).

Ben forwards the Travel Address to the originator (Ori), who then shares this data with the VASP from which they intend to withdraw the received assets. The VASP now has the option to:

  • Verify with the originator the destination of the virtual assets, as outlined in the Travel Address provided by Ori,

  • Confirm if the beneficiary VASP (Ben's VASP) has undergone KYC procedures before sharing further information,

  • Confirm if Ben's VASP is subject to sanctions.

Based on these considerations, the VASP can make an informed decision on how to proceed with the transaction.

The Travel Rule Protocol (TRP) Flow - September 2023
The Travel Rule Protocol (TRP) Flow 

Read: Is There a Difference Between an IBAN and a Travel Address?

Further Reading

For more information on TRP, see the OpenVASP website and the below texts.

Download the CVA Paper: How TRP Addresses the Travel Rule

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