Binance.US has backed out of a deal to buy the assets of Voyager, a crypto trading platform that collapsed and entered bankruptcy proceedings in 2022. The company had proposed a $1bn deal, which would have seen creditors receive around $20m in cash.
However, the transaction was hit by regulatory objections, including from the US Securities and Exchange Commission and the Texas State Securities Board, which raised concerns about the independence of Binance.US from the global crypto exchange Binance.com, owned by Zhao Changpeng.
https://t.co/AZwoBOgsqS has made the difficult decision to exercise its right to terminate the asset purchase agreement with Voyager.
While our hope throughout this process was to help Voyager's customers access their crypto in kind, the hostile and uncertain regulatory climate…
— Binance.US 🇺🇸 (@BinanceUS) April 25, 2023
Voyager said it may attempt to claim a reverse termination fee from Binance.US in court. Meanwhile, Celsius Network, a crypto lender, is facing a three-way auction, while FTX is selling its crypto-derivatives platform, LedgerX, for $50m, pending court approval.
Background to the Binance.US deal
In September 2022, FTX.US won an auction to buy Voyager’s assets for $1.4bn, but the deal fell through after FTX International faced bankruptcy and its founder, Bankman-Fried, was arrested on criminal charges. Binance.US then stepped in with a proposal worth around $1bn at the time. However, the deal was plagued by regulatory objections, and on Tuesday, Binance.US cancelled the transaction, citing a missed deadline for closing the deal.
Voyager’s rapid rise and fall
Voyager was founded in 2018 and grew rapidly, amassing 3.5 million users and around $6bn worth of cryptocurrency assets, according to court records. However, the company was one of several crypto firms to collapse and enter bankruptcy proceedings in 2022.
Implications for Binance.US and the wider crypto sector
The collapse of the Binance.US deal could have wider implications for the crypto sector, as regulators seek to assert their authority over the rapidly expanding industry. Binance has come under scrutiny in several countries over allegations of lax controls against money laundering and other illegal activities. The US has been particularly active in clamping down on the crypto sector, with a raft of regulatory proposals and enforcement actions in recent months.