The US government’s bid to quash a $1 billion deal by Binance.US to buy the assets of Voyager, a bankrupt crypto lender, has received support from District Judge Jennifer Rearden. The judge stated that the government had a “substantial case on the merits” and promised to move quickly to settle the dispute, given that delays could cost as much as $10 million per month for the estate. This decision came after objections from the US Attorney, who argued that the contract effectively rendered Voyager immune by exculpating it from breaches of tax or securities law.
Earlier in March, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Michael Wiles had approved the sale, but Judge Rearden put it on hold this week. In her further reasoning published on Friday, Judge Rearden appeared sympathetic to government arguments, saying that “the Exculpation Clause appears to go further than the quasi-judicial immunity doctrine allows.” The judge also noted that the government’s arguments have “gone entirely unrebutted” by Voyager and its creditors, neither of which has provided any authority for the proposition that a bankruptcy court can release criminal liability.
Binance.US’s bid to purchase Voyager’s assets for $1 billion has been embroiled in controversy, with the US government seeking to block the deal due to concerns about Voyager’s alleged breaches of tax and securities law. Binance.US is a cryptocurrency exchange that operates in the US and is a subsidiary of the larger Binance platform. Voyager is a crypto lender that filed for bankruptcy in February 2022 after facing regulatory issues.
The controversy surrounding the deal underscores the ongoing debate about the regulation of cryptocurrencies and related assets. While cryptocurrency advocates argue that the decentralized nature of these assets makes them immune to traditional forms of regulation, governments and financial institutions are increasingly seeking to impose greater oversight and control. The situation with Binance.US and Voyager highlights the complexities and challenges involved in reconciling these competing interests.
In addition to the issues related to the sale of Voyager’s assets, the case also raises broader questions about the role of bankruptcy courts in addressing criminal liability. Judge Rearden’s decision to put the sale on hold suggests that the court is taking seriously the concerns raised by the US government. The ultimate outcome of this case could have far-reaching implications for the regulation of cryptocurrencies and the legal responsibilities of companies operating in this space.