Binance.US to acquire bankrupt crypto exchange Voyager's assets for $1 billion, weeks after planned FTX deal failed
- Voyager Digital announced that Binance.US had won a second bidding process after FTX's bankruptcy filing, paving the way for potential resolution for the platform's 1.7 million users.
- The company had billions of dollars worth of crypto at the end of 2021, but a broader market downturn and a series of bad bets, including to Three Arrows Capital and Alameda Research, chipped away at the firm's available capital.
Binance.US will acquire the crypto assets and customer deposits of Voyager Digital in a $1.02 billion deal, weeks after a planned FTX-Voyager acquisition failed as a result of FTX's collapse and Sam Bankman-Fried's arrest.
Despite the nominal independence, Binance.US operates as a "de facto subsidiary" of the international Binance business, according to Reuters.
Voyager filed for bankruptcy protection in July 2022, after crypto hedge fund Three Arrows Capital (3AC) defaulted on a significant loan position extended by Voyager. At the time of filing, the crypto exchange had approximately $1.3 billion in assets but was owed over $650 million by 3AC, compared with $5.8 billion worth of assets at the end of 2021.
In a press release, Voyager said that Binance.US' offer represented "the highest and best bid for its assets after a review of strategic options with the core objective of maximizing the value returned to customers and other creditors on an expedited timeframe."
Binance.US is nominally independent of the international Binance. Binance CEO Changpeng "CZ" Zhao established Binance in 2017, which had over 1 million U.S. users within five months of founding. Zhao would eventually separate out his U.S. operations into Binance.US in 2019, to have it serve a "regulatory inquiry clearing house," to catch and contain concerns from federal regulators, according to Reuters.
More than 1.7 million Voyager users were waiting to discover what would happen to their crypto. When FTX's deal was announced, users were to receive an account credit alongside custody of certain cryptocurrencies that FTX supported. But weeks later, after the exposure of a multibillion-dollar balance sheet hole forced FTX into bankruptcy, Voyager, like many other FTX acquisition targets, was left in a lurch.
It is not yet clear how Voyager's pending acquisition may impact Binance's stake in the FTX-Alameda bankruptcy.
Representatives for Voyager did not immediately respond to comment.
Correction: Binance.US was established in 2019. An earlier version misstated the year.