A federal judge in Manhattan has temporarily halted the proposed $1.3 billion sale of bankrupt crypto lender Voyager Digital to Binance.US, the American subsidiary of international cryptocurrency exchange Binance.
U.S. District Judge Jennifer Rearden ruled on Monday that the sale should be put on hold, despite Voyager’s argument that a delay could cause Binance.US to back out of the deal entirely. The United States government had requested more time to explore the legality of the proposed takeover.
US court suspends Voyager’s acquisition by Binance.US
The concerns surrounding the sale were that it could involve unregistered securities and violate U.S. securities law, even though bankruptcy judge Michael Wiles indicated that he was in favor of approving the deal.
However, Binance.US had agreed to pay $20 million in cash to Voyager and take on crypto assets deposited by Voyager customers, which account for the bulk of the deal’s valuation.
The court’s decision on Voyager’s bid for Binance.US came after the Binance subsidiary was sued Monday in a separate legal action by the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). The CFTC filed suit alleging that Binance.com operated an “illegal” exchange and an inadequate compliance program.
The news of the series of regulatory actions is reflected in the crypto markets. The total market cap has decreased by 2.18% today to $1.12 trillion, according to CoinMarketcap. The Binance Coin (BNB) has also taken a hit, losing 5.4% in a fall to $309. BNB hit a 2023 high of $349 on March 18 but has fallen back almost 8% over the past week as company woes deepen.
This most recent restriction can be regarded as a blow against the failing Voyager crypto lender, which has been striving to go out of bankruptcy it entered in 2022 and settle its disappointed users. However, it remains to be seen how the regulatory actions against Binance will affect the wider crypto market in the coming days.