Binance US Plans to Acquire Voyager Digital’s Assets for $1 Billion in Bankruptcy Bid
According to a Binance blog post, Binance US has entered an agreement with Voyager Digital Ltd., in order to acquire its assets. The announcement details that the acquisition “sets a clear path forward for Voyager customers’ funds to be unlocked as soon as possible.”
Binance Reveals U.S. Subsidiary to Purchase Voyager Digital’s Assets for $1B, Company Bid Seeks Bankruptcy Court Approval
At the end June 2022, it was revealed that Voyager Digital secured a line of credit worth $500 million from Alameda Research, but by July 1, the TSX-listed Voyager suspended trading, deposits, and withdrawals. Voyager suffered a significant loss from Three Arrows Capital (3AC), as it was reported that 3AC owed Voyager $655 million.
On July 6, Voyager filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and it cited 3AC’s loan default. By the end of July, the U.S. Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and the Federal Reserve Board issued a joint letter to Voyager demanding a cease and desist against any FDIC claims Voyager had made or advertised on its website.
Then, before Sam Bankman-Fried’s and FTX’s fall from grace, it was assumed FTX would help the company and purchase Voyager’s assets. But just before the FTX cracks started to show, regulators from the state of Texas and the state’s attorney general objected to FTX purchasing Voyager. Since FTX is now out of the picture, on Dec. 19, 2022, Binance revealed that Binance US has swooped in to purchase Voyager’s assets.
The company stressed that the Binance US bid “sets a clear path forward for Voyager customers’ funds to be unlocked as soon as possible, and returned to them in the form of the cryptocurrencies previously held in their Voyager accounts.”
“Our bid is a reflection of our guiding principle that customers should come first. Our goal is simple: return users their cryptocurrencies on the fastest timeline possible,” Brian Shroder, Binance US’ CEO and president said on Monday. Shroder continued:
We hope our selection brings to an end a painful bankruptcy process, which saw customers unfairly dragged into it at no fault of their own. Upon [the] close of the deal, users will be able to seamlessly access their digital assets on the Binance US platform where they will continue to receive future disbursements from the Voyager estate.
The Binance bid follows the speculation and rumors that have surrounded the world’s largest crypto exchange by volume. There’s been criticism against the company’s proof-of-reserve (POR) efforts, and the accounting firm Mazars removed Binance’s POR audit from the web. A Reuters report published on Dec. 12, claimed the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has been investigating Binance. The following day, more than $3 billion in crypto assets were withdrawn from Binance’s coffers. The stablecoin BUSD saw its supply shrink by more than $3 billion in three days after Dec. 13.
Binance said on Dec. 19, that Voyager Digital will “seek bankruptcy court approval to enter into the asset purchase agreement between Voyager Digital LLC and Binance US at a hearing on January 5, 2023.” Similar to FTX’s attempt to purchase Voyager’s assets, there could be an objection to Binance’s request before the Jan. 5 hearing.
Binance further elaborated that Voyager customers should look out for emails from Voyager Digital “regarding next steps soon.” Voyager confirmed the purchase on Monday as well, and noted that the assets would be acquired for $1.022 billion and that includes all of Voyager’s crypto assets. However, that is based on current fair market value, which could very well change in the future. Forbes author Steven Ehrlich explains in a recent article about Binance’s bid how this could happen.
In addition to Binance US, INX, Wave Financial, and Crosstower also attempted to bid on Voyager’s remaining assets. “Binance US will make a $10 million good faith deposit and will reimburse Voyager for certain expenses up to a maximum of $15 million,” the announcement details. “Should the deal not close by April 18, 2023 subject to a one-month extension, the agreement allows Voyager to immediately move to return value to customers,” Voyager’s update concludes.
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