SEC snubbed as Voyager wins court approval for sale to Binance.US


Bankrupt cryptocurrency lender Voyager Digital has won court approval to sell over $1 billion of its assets to Binance.US.

The approval was granted by United States Bankruptcy Judge Michael Wiles on Mar. 7, which came after four days of arguments presented by Voyager and the United States Securities Exchange Commission.

Wiles said he would give the trading platform permission to close the Binance.US sale and issue repayment tokens to impacted Voyager customers, which would give them back approximately 73% of what they’re owed.

Wiles rejected a series of arguments by the SEC that the redistribution of the funds from Voyager to Binance.US would violate U.S. securities laws, according to a Mar. 7 report from Bloomberg:

“I cannot put the entire case into indeterminate deep freeze while regulators figure out whether they believe there are problems with the transaction and plan.”

Peter M. Aronoff, a lawyer with the Department of Justice, said at the hearing it’s considering appealing Wiles’ decision.

The judge’s decision comes just over a week after 97% of 61,300 Voyager account holders were found to favor the current Binance.US restructuring plan, according to a Feb. 28 filing.

The approval comes a day after Judge Wiles stated that no U.S. agency, including the SEC, would be allowed to punish Voyager executives in relation to the issuance of a potential bankruptcy token.

The trading platform will now take a few weeks to decide whether to complete the Binance.US sale or liquidate on its own and turn over the proceeds to Voyager account holders.

This will depend on how troubling Voyager views the ongoing investigations that Binance.US is entangled in with federal authorities.

Related: SEC objection to Voyager-Binance.US deal questioned by US judge

Voyager’s lead investment banker, Brian Tichenor, said in a March 3 court hearing if the approved restructuring plan is executed, customers would receive about $100 million more than if Voyager liquidated on its own

Customer payouts will also be influenced by Voyager’s bankruptcy court dispute with FTX’s sister company Alameda Research, which is demanding that Voyager hands over what was originally lent out. Voyager has agreed to reserve $445 million in case it loses that dispute.

The price of Voyager’s token, VGX, shot up 32.9% from $0.37 to $0.50 in the four hours of the news before cooling off to $0.46 at the time of writing, according to CoinGecko data.

Price change of Voyager’s token, VGX over the last 24 hours. Source: CoinGecko.