Lawyers of Voyager Digital were taken aback when Binance.US called off its deal to acquire the assets of the insolvent crypto lender on Tuesday. The deal had been approved by a judge last week in the bankruptcy court.
Voyager will now have to distribute cash and crypto to customers using its platform following Binance.US’s about-face.
Voyager attorneys were “surprised” Binance.US terminated its asset buy deal.
In a bankruptcy court in the Southern District Court of New York on Wednesday, the lawyers posited that the exchange was still displaying interest as recently as last week.
“The debtors have been in constant contact and communication with Binance.US, and as lately as this past Friday, Binance.US had expressed the desire to close the transaction as soon as possible,” Christine Okike of law firm Kirkland & Ellis, representing Voyager, stated.
Why Binance.US Nuked Voyager Deal
Binance backed out of its deal to acquire Voyager’s assets due to what it described as a “hostile and uncertain regulatory climate in the United States.” Following the termination of the deal, recoveries for Voyager’s creditors will likely be in the range of 40% to 65%, Okike noted. This depends on whether Voyager wins a parallel suit involving now-defunct digital asset exchange FTX and how much recovery FTX offers its creditors.
Voyager was among multiple crypto companies to go under last year after the abrupt fall of Terra’s LUNA governance token and the UST algorithmic stablecoin. The crypto broker declared bankruptcy on July 5.
A number of regulators sought to block the deal, which would have allowed Voyager customers to become Binance.US customers. That included the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Federal Trade Commission, the Texas State Securities Board, and the Texas Department of Banking.
Binance.US’s withdrawal comes after its international affiliate found itself in the cross-hairs of regulators in the United States. The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) launched a lawsuit against Binance last month, accusing the world’s largest crypto exchange by trading volume of violating derivatives rules. In fact, some speculated that Binance.US’s decision to pull out of the Voyager agreement could be part of the conditions of a forthcoming settlement with the CFTC.