Getting a crypto bill through Congress is only the first hurdle, policy expert says

Even if Congress does get its act together, the CFTC and SEC have known to drag out rulemaking for a decade


lazyllama/Shutterstock modified by Blockworks


Though congressional leaders have continued to spar over the best course of action for crypto regulation, getting a bill to the president’s desk may only be the start of the battle. 

Federal policy expert Dorothy DeWitt cautoned crypto companies on Friday that even if policy advances, rules can take a decade or more to pass.  

DeWitt served as former chief finance counsel to the Senate and former director of the CFTC’s division of oversight. 

“Rulemaking takes forever,” DeWitt said during a panel in New York Friday at an event hosted by Lowenstein Sandler law firm and Rutgers law school

DeWitt pointed to the Dodd Frank Act, which was published in 2010, but its final rules were not passed through the CFTC until 2021. 

“It’s really hard to get folks who have little interest [and] little understanding and who are afraid of really complex issues to come together,” she said. 

Read more: Crypto creates ‘perfect storm of investor risk’: SEC enforcement director

Panelist James Park, a professor at UCLA School of Law, said the SEC faces similar challenges when it comes to creating and enforcing rules around evolving technology like crypto. Plus, he said, there’s a simultaneous jurisdictional battle. 

“There’s a question of ‘is it the SEC, the CFTC or something else?’” Park said. “Is there something about crypto that the current exchange rules, for example, are just not willing to work with respect to various crypto [companies]? And that’s something I think the SEC is going to have to figure out.” 

DeWitt is no stranger to the Hill; she helped draft the Responsible Innovation Act, a bipartisan bill sponsored by Sens. Cynthia Lummis, R-Wyo., and Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., last session. 

The bill has not made the rounds this Congress, but the senators have expressed interest in re-introducing a revised version

The bill is “comprehensive,” DeWitt said, addressing consumer protection, market integrity, anti–terrorism policy and promoting innovation, all issues she deemed essential for such legislation to make it through Congress.

Start your day with top crypto insights from David Canellis and Katherine Ross. Subscribe to the Empire newsletter.

Explore the growing intersection between crypto, macroeconomics, policy and finance with Ben Strack, Casey Wagner and Felix Jauvin. Subscribe to the On the Margin newsletter.

The Lightspeed newsletter is all things Solana, in your inbox, every day. Subscribe to daily Solana news from Jack Kubinec and Jeff Albus.


Upcoming Events

Salt Lake City, UT

MON - TUES, OCT. 7 - 8, 2024

Blockworks and Bankless in collaboration with buidlbox are excited to announce the second installment of the Permissionless Hackathon – taking place October 7-8 in Salt Lake City, Utah. We’ve partnered with buidlbox to bring together the brightest minds in crypto for […]

Salt Lake City, UT

WED - FRI, OCTOBER 9 - 11, 2024

Pack your bags, anon — we’re heading west! Join us in the beautiful Salt Lake City for the third installment of Permissionless. Come for the alpha, stay for the fresh air. Permissionless III promises unforgettable panels, killer networking opportunities, and mountains […]

recent research

Research Report Templates.png


ZKPs enable efficient offchain transaction processing and validation, resulting in increased throughput and reduced fees. Solana's ZK Compression leverages ZKPs to minimize onchain storage costs, while Sui's zkLogin streamlines user onboarding by replacing complex key management with familiar OAuth credentials.


The crypto asset manager lowered its planned fee from 0.25% to 0.15%, undercutting its competitors


Plus, a look at planned ETH ETF fees and how they differ from their BTC counterparts


North Korea suspected in breach of Indian exchange’s multisig wallet


Plus, Sanctum’s CLOUD token has officially launched — but not without problems


It’s not yet clear whether Donald Trump is pumping bitcoin. But an unofficial memecoin is still seeing benefit.