Voyager-Binance.US Pause Denied by Bankruptcy Judge

A New York court denied the government’s request to halt the $1 billion deal, saying delay would harm customers.

AccessTimeIconMar 16, 2023 at 7:58 a.m. UTC
Updated Mar 16, 2023 at 4:45 p.m. UTC

A $1 billion bid by Binance.US to buy Voyager Digital’s assets should go ahead, a bankruptcy judge ruled in a Wednesday court filing, denying a bid by the U.S. government to put proceedings on hold pending appeal.

U.S. Attorney Damian Williams had argued the deal should be amended or struck down because it seeks to effectively absolve Voyager and its staff of violations of tax or securities law.

But Michael Wiles, a judge in the Southern District of New York, said the deal he previously approved does no such thing, and that waiting longer would harm Voyager clients who haven't been able to access their crypto the company filed for bankruptcy protection in July.

Government filings “exaggerate and in some places mischaracterize what I have done and the authorities on which I have relied, and in other instances rely on hyperbole or on ‘straw man’ arguments,” Wiles wrote.

Provisions in the deal “do not prohibit any regulatory action, including actions to stop the cryptocurrency sales and distributions that the plan contemplates,” Wiles added. “Delays themselves also are a massive issue for the Debtors’ customers.”

Under a separate deal agreed to by Voyager, the Binance.US purchase, previously set to come into effect March 15, has been extended to March 20.


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Jack Schickler

Jack Schickler was a CoinDesk reporter focused on crypto regulations, based in Brussels, Belgium. He doesn’t own any crypto.