Judge Puts Voyager Sale to Binance.US on Hold Pending Government Appeal

Federal regulators previously objected to the proposed sale.

AccessTimeIconMar 27, 2023 at 11:51 p.m. UTC
Updated Mar 28, 2023 at 3:25 p.m. UTC

A federal judge paused Voyager Digital's efforts to sell its assets to Binance.US in response to the U.S. government's filing for an emergency stay.

District Judge Jennifer Rearden, of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, granted the U.S. Department of Justice's application for a stay pending an an appeal of the sale, which was previously approved by a bankruptcy judge. The move puts the sale on hold until the appeal itself can work its way through the U.S. court system.

"Upon consideration of all parties’ written submissions, as well as the conferences and oral argument held in this matter, the Government’s emergency motion is hereby GRANTED. An opinion setting forth the reasons for this ruling will issue shortly," the ruling said.

Another judge, Bankruptcy Judge Michael Wiles of the New York Southern Bankruptcy Court, approved the sale earlier this month over government agency objections.

In the judge's view, agencies like the Securities and Exchange Commission and U.S. Trustee's office had failed to make a persuasive case for holding off the sale, saying his mandate was to speed up the bankruptcy process to ensure Voyager creditors got their money back as soon as possible. Voyager filed for bankruptcy in July.

Wiles had also previously pushed back on an effort to pause the deal during the appeal process.

The order came the same day the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) sued Binance's global entity on allegations it allowed U.S. customers to illegally trade crypto derivatives products on the platform. Binance.US is affiliated with Binance, though both companies maintain that they are wholly independent of each other.

Edited by Greg Ahlstrand.


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Nikhilesh De

Nikhilesh De is CoinDesk's managing editor for global policy and regulation. He owns marginal amounts of bitcoin and ether.