Binance.US has entered into an agreement with Voyager Digital to acquire the bankrupt crypto lender's assets.
The bid from the largest crypto exchange's U.S. arm "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," an official blog post notes.
Binance.US's winning bid beats other industry players, such as CrossTower, Wave Financial and INX.
“Our bid is a reflection of our guiding principle that customers should come first," Brian Shroder, Chief Executive Officer and President of Binance.US, said, adding:
"Our goal is simple: return users their cryptocurrencies on the fastest timeline possible. 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 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.”
Binance.US will make a $10 million good-faith deposit, according to a press release. It will also reimburse Voyager a maximum of $15 million for certain expenses.
The announcement comes during financial turmoil for the blockchain and cryptocurrency industry, with centralized exchanges under increased scrutiny. Shroder noted on Twitter that "Binance.US is well capitalized: our assets exceed our liabilities," explaining: "All of our customers could withdraw their assets tomorrow, which is their right & we would still have hundreds of millions of current assets."
Voyager filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in July due to its over $650 million exposure to the collapsed crypto hedge fund Three Arrows Capital. The sale to Binance.US will be subject to a creditor vote and to other closing conditions.
A bankruptcy judge previously approved Voyager’s plan to sell its assets to FTX prior to the crypto exchange's filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and subsequent criminal charges against its former CEO, Sam Bankman-Fried.
Disclaimer: Beginning in 2021, Michael McCaffrey, the former CEO and majority owner of The Block, took a series of loans from founder and former FTX and Alameda CEO Sam Bankman-Fried. McCaffrey resigned from the company in December 2022 after failing to disclose those transactions.
Updated to provide additional context on the deal, other bidders and Voyager's bankruptcy process.
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