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The Roundtable: Regulating Crypto Requires Input from Crypto Leaders

Officials don't know enough to regulate blockchain and crypto without hurting investors and technologists. The crypto community can help.

It is estimated that more than 34 million Americans have used some form of crypto in the last year. As that number grows, so does the percentage of people who will find themselves victim to crypto-related crime. For years, this crime was closely associated with money laundering, illegal activity on the dark web, and ransoms. But as two experts tell Roundtable's Rob Nelson, crypto crime can take a number of other, more pedestrian forms that will only become more common. In this segment, the panelists discuss what kind of regulation is necessary to curb misconduct—and how such laws should be approached by regulators.

The attorney Tracey Hoyos-Lopez notes that the crypto community needs to be involved in the process of devising and implementing new laws, because they know the space in a way that regulators do not.  

"We need a bridge between the feds and the crypto community," she says. "We need to have an understanding of like, Hey, listen, do you wanna find out something? Is there a piece of information that's important to you. You were talking about your client, talk to us, what do you need? We don't want crypto for the purposes of committing crime, right? We don't want crypto for terrorism. And at the end of the day, the community will come together to help out so that these things don't happen. But if you come in guns blazing, and say, you know, you send a text message to so-and-so, and now we've got you under the Wires Act, and now we're gonna put you in prison—that makes people crazy and scared."  

Adds attorney David Nissman, "the thing is that [in] crypto leading figures are all technologically savvy. They understand how this works. They understand the intention of what this is for. They should be writing the proposed rules and giving them to the government."

"There's a long game here to be played," notes Hoyos-Lopez. "We in the crypto space have conversations, we sit down, then we bring federal agents and we start talking to them. We build a relationship so that we can talk to each other, we help each other. Right. Because again, like, we don't want people getting scammed. It ruins other projects. It damages the legitimacy of the people that are working very hard to create really cool things and what are phenomenal pieces of technology." 

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Watch the full discussion below:

Roundtable Guests:

Jeffrey Alberts, Partner, Pryor's Cashman Litigation Group

Tracy Hoyos-Lopez, Attorney

David Nissman, Attorney