Feb 27, 2023

The benefits to creditors from Binance US' $1.02 billion offer to buy up bankrupt crypto lender Voyager hinge on a $445 million loan claim by Alameda Research, making the deal potentially not worth bothering with, Texas regulators said in a Friday court filing.

Video transcript

The state of crypto is presented by Ron connecting the world to the power of Cryptocurrency. And it's time to check in with Coindesk global policy and regulation. Managing editor Nick Day who is also the editor of Coindesk State of crypto newsletter. Good morning, Nick. Happy Monday. Hey, good morning. Hi. So uh in Texas Regulators did a filing on Friday. Um and it's kind of confusing a, a little bit confusing for the average person here. So maybe you could break it down. Uh And it has something to do with Voyager uh uh with a $445 million loan claimed by Alameda um to Voyager uh that, which is a lender if you know, get all confusing here. Uh But it, you know, what does it have to do with finance and, and making this deal happen or not happen? Yeah. So um it's worth remembering that last week was the objection deadline for uh Voyager's planned sale of its assets to Binance Us, Texas Regulators. Uh Texas, uh Securities Regulators specifically objected on a number of grounds. One of which is the fact that Alameda might have a plausible claim over some of Voyager's assets or to uh, a loan, you know, uh made through Voyager. Um, so the regulators are warning that a, if the seal goes through and Alameda uh bid to introduce, uh, as a successful, then the sale to Binance Us, which is what, which is, what the, uh, which is right now, what's being fit. So, ok, so if the sale goes through, take it away, right. Yeah. So if the sale goes through and, uh, the Alameda claims are deemed credible, there's every possibility that Voyager users are not gonna get the uh, amount they're currently being promised under the terms of the sale. So, uh, that's one of the concerns. Another concern is that, uh, Binance Us might be, um, in violation of certain US regulations. According to these sex regulators, they've claimed that Binance Us is staking program might not be, uh, you know, a typical staking program. It might be in violation of securities law in and of itself. For examples of that, we only have to look at cracking which had a similar run in with federal regulators, uh, you know, just a few weeks ago. So you can kind of see where, um, you know, Binance US might have similar issues. Texas regulators are also concerned about finances. Uh, Binance Us is independence from Binance dot com. And, you know, again, we only have to look a few weeks ago when Reuters had this groundbreaking report that said Binance Global had access to Binance Us bank account uh back in 2021. So there's a number of objections from these Texas regulators. They seem to be pushing for Voyager to uh convert its Chapter 11 bankruptcy, which suggests that it might come back one day to a chapter seven bankruptcy where it'll just liquidate all of his assets and uh sell everything off and send the money back to creditors and users. So this sounds like Texas, in other words, really, really doesn't want Binance us to buy Voyager or its assets at all. Um That in fact, it might be about 400 something million dollars under bidding because uh this big loan is outstanding. So, unless that's that, you know, if they're not factoring that in, this is only half as good for Voyager creditors is, is basically the underlying theme here. Plus, plus, they might be in trouble with uh regulators just in terms of and there will be a hearing this week to uh where I imagine this is going to come up. But there will be a hearing this week where a judge is gonna take a look at objections and uh also look at how the um actual creditors are voting. And here, it's also worth remembering that most of the Voyager creditors have voted in favor of the sales so far. Uh That's as of last week when an attorney for Voyager said that something like 97% of the uh Voyager customers have said. Yeah, we want to move forward with this particular sale. Interesting if they end up selling the assets. Uh I, I'd be curious to know if they, in other words, not as a going concern, but if they liquidate, uh whether or not Binance would still be able to purchase them. Hm. Well, Nick, wanna switch topics here. Uh Also last week the G 20 meetings were happening and over the weekend, the announcement was made regarding some global crypto rules. Tell us a bit about that. Yeah. So this is coming out of our colleague in India, the G 20 is going to work on a synthesis paper for global crypto regulation. This will be the G 20 in conjunction with the International Monetary Fund and the Financial Stability Board and uh India, which currently holds the presidency of the G 20. It says that this synthesis paper could form the basis for global crypto regulations moving forward. Um We don't have, you know, too much more detail at this point. It sounds like it's still fairly early days. But you know, this idea of a global uh crypto regulatory regime has been bouncing around for years now and we've had various uh international and Intergovernmental entities try and tackle that such as the financial action task force. So it'll be interesting to see, you know what, what the paper addresses, which is uh you know, issues and topics it addresses. But uh it sounds like this is moving forward. We'll have a bit more of a sense of how uh you know, international regulators might cooperate to try and put some, you know, reins on this particular uh you know sector. Would you say that it leans conservative in terms of the International Monetary Fund? I mean, they had a statement last week saying that, you know, an outright ban on cryptocurrencies is not ruled out. They also were not enthusiastic about tax collection. Definitely did not want Bitcoin as legal tender in different countries. The financial stability board, where do they lean et cetera? Yeah, I mean, I, I think it's gonna be fairly, if not strict, at least, uh, you know, slightly prescriptive as far as a lot of these regulations are going to get concerned. And it's also worth remembering that India in particular has not been a huge fan of crypto in the past. And, you know, right now has a tax regime in place which many local crypto users credit as, you know, not taking the industry but taking it down quite a bit, breaking down volume and activity. So, um, you know, whatever it just ends up being, it will probably be, you know, uh less friendly than the crypt industry would want. But the, you know, IMF the FSB are probably gonna point to things like the FDX collapse, all the, you know, lenders, all the, uh, you know what's called, you know, we call them the disasters well, this, uh, disasters but all the disasters of the last couple of years and say, yeah, like we need to put these rules in place to protect people from these, you know, you know, con artists and scammers. Uh, and even just, you know, technical ineptitude, um, you know how that's gonna actually shake out. Maybe they'll look at stable coins, maybe they'll look at taxes. But, yeah, there's a lot of opportunities there for these regulators.

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