Binance US and approval to acquire Voyager, the failed crypto-lender
The US bankruptcy judge Michael Wiles has given his approval for Binance US’s proposed $1.3 billion restructuring plan to acquire Voyager.
We are pleased the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York agrees with 97% of Voyager customers who voted that our plan provides the best path forward for Voyager users to re-take control of their assets.
Our goal has always been to https://t.co/AZwoBOgsqS… https://t.co/PJI0GqFWtj pic.twitter.com/T4as5RKpxl
— Binance.US 🇺🇸 (@BinanceUS) March 7, 2023
The crypto-lender that was declared bankrupt can now transfer its customers and assets to Binance US, although first the company will face additional hurdles before the sale becomes final.
The hearing in New York accepted Binance’s $20 million cash payment to Voyager and the assumption of its customer-deposited crypto-assets.
It is worth mentioning, however, that Voyager may yet walk away from the deal. In fact, from what emerges, it appears that financial advisers told the court on Friday that the company needs a maximum of four weeks to review new issues related to the Binance.US engagement. From the acquisition, to Binance.US’s regulatory compliance and the security of Binance.US customer deposits.
Binance US and the SEC’s objections to the Voyager acquisition
The judge reportedly approved the restructuring plan despite objections proposed by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) last week.
In practice, the SEC’s lawyer, William Uptegrove, reportedly intervened at the hearing to tell the judge that Binance US operates an unregistered stock exchange.
This is yet another intervention by the regulator referring to the fact that, according to them, tokens are securities.
Apparently, the bankruptcy judge did not seem to be persuaded but instead said that the statements made by the SEC investigators are unbelievable.
Not only that, Wiles said that there was no evidence to support this theory and that, moreover, the SEC’s lawyer should not have waited until the last day to raise a concrete concern.
The SEC’s intervention would have effectively moved the final hearing, without blocking any agreement between the parties.
Binance US: Voyager’s crypto customers may now be “safe”
Binance US may finally take action to acquire crypto-lender Voyager. In a first step, in fact, Voyager users would provide the data required by Binance for new accounts.
Under the terms of the agreement, users will already be able to receive their first refunds starting in March. However, customers in Hawaii, New York, Texas, and Vermont will have to wait longer due to red tape.
All that remains is to wait until the settlement is finally finalized so that Voyager customers can see their money back for the first time since last summer, when Voyager had to freeze accounts due to insolvency.
Voyager filed for bankruptcy in July, months after the collapse of major cryptocurrencies TerraUSD and Luna caused tremors throughout the digital asset sector.
Voyager estimates that the sale will allow customers to recover 73% of the value of their deposits at the time of Voyager’s bankruptcy filing.
SEC’s commitment to pursuing crypto
Recently, SEC Chairman Gary Gensler announced that he plans to hire more staff to investigate the crypto industry and its projects.
Something that seems to have happened before, around the same time as the implosion of the Terra/Luna ecosystem, when the SEC said it had hired 20 people. These new talents had been placed in the unit responsible for protecting investors in crypto markets and from cyber threats.
The question remains the same. For the regulatory authority, tokens and crypto assets are securities and therefore it should be the one to approve their sale or trading.
Their intervention in Binance US.’s acquisition of Voyager resembles what recently happened to Ripple’s lawyer, John Deaton.
In essence, even here, SEC lawyers allegedly intervened in their never-ending lawsuit against Ripple to ask Judge Torres to ban Deaton.
For them, since Deaton is a strong supporter of the XRP crypto, he represents a real threat to the SEC. However, the judge again seems unwilling to listen to the regulator, and did not grant the request.
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