Crypto Is at ‘Brick Wall Stage' and Needs ‘Right Balance’ of Regulation, Says Legal Expert

Pennsylvania State University Dickinson Law Professor Tonya Evans discusses why the ecosystem is in need of thoughtful regulation from lawmakers on Capitol Hill.

AccessTimeIconDec 2, 2022 at 6:06 p.m. UTC
Updated Dec 5, 2022 at 5:01 p.m. UTC
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A legal expert says the crypto industry is “at the brick wall stage and it's forcing the hand of legislators to amend legislation.”

Pennsylvania State University Dickinson Law Professor Tonya Evans told CoinDesk TV’s “First Mover” on Friday that she is “cautiously optimistic and hopeful” there will be federal regulation of crypto in 2023.

“I do see regulation coming,” said Evans, an intellectual property (IP) lawyer, referring to whether the fall of the FTX crypto exchange would prompt the U.S. Congress to set a clear framework for regulating the digital asset industry.

“There’s a lot of thoughtful consideration to the right balance” of regulatory oversight, she said, referencing recent congressional testimony by the chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, Rostin Behman, who is seeking greater authority for his agency to oversee spot crypto markets, not just the derivative markets.

For investors and consumers relying on centralized crypto exchanges like FTX, Evans said there’s a need for federal guardrails, protections and greater transparency. Whether that oversight power is held by one agency or shared by the CFTC and the Securities and Exchange Commission, Congress must “make sure the right legislation and regulation is created for the times,” she added.

Thanks to the collapse of FTX, Evans said, lawmakers don’t have the option to idly sit by anymore, especially after a substantial number of U.S. citizens were hit by FTX’s mishandling of customer funds.

“Every time there is a major deleterious impact to investors and consumers, they can't sit on the sidelines anymore,” Evans said, referring to both legislators and regulators.


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Fran Velasquez

Fran is CoinDesk's TV writer and reporter.