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The Securities and Exchange Commission and the New York Department of Financial Services have spoken out against Binance US’s $1 billion deal to buy Voyager digital assets.
Binance US proposed a deal to purchase the assets from, now-bankrupt, cryptocurrency broker Voyager Digital which is facing scrutiny from federal and state regulators.
In the Court filings submitted on Wednesday (22 February 2023), the SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) and NYDFS (New York Department of Financial Services) expressed opposition to the $1 billion deal.
Last year, Voyager Digital filed for bankruptcy after crypto hedge fund Three Arrows Capital (now-defunct) defaulted on a $670 million loan provided by Voyager. The US version of Binance later expressed its concern to buy Voyager’s assets for $1 billion, stating that it could assist in releasing some of the funds locked up in the insolvent firm.
The SEC is not with Binance on this idea. However, it claims that the transactions necessary to redistribute the assets belonging to Voyager customers may infringe the agency’s rule on selling or offering registered securities. The agency also cites numerous concerns about the deal and doesn’t “adequately describe whether third parties” will have access to customer wallets.
Meanwhile, NYDFS also had concerns alleging Voyager operated “illegally” in the state without a licence and “deprived” New York customers of the consumer protections granted by the state’s supervision. It also notes that Binance US wasn’t licenced or eligible to operate in New York and customers of Voyager-based in the state may have to wait longer to gain funds access when compared to customers where the service is available.
“New York Account Holders will have no ability to control the assets in their accounts, including whether to sell the cryptocurrency to avoid further risk in the volatile cryptocurrency market,” the NYDFS writes.
“In contrast, Account Holders in jurisdictions other than Unsupported Jurisdictions (‘Supported Jurisdictions’) will have the freedom to trade the cryptocurrency owed to them, defined as ‘Net Owed Coins’ in the APA, once their Binance US accounts are set up and their assets are migrated.”
It is likely to see even more pushback from government and regulatory agencies since federal and state regulators begin to close in on crypto exchanges, especially after the collapse of FTX and its co-founder’s arrest.
In December 2022, the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) opened a probe into several crypto platforms over accused misconduct, while the SEC has asked them to disclose whether they’ve been exposed to any struggling crypto firms.