Binance replaces FTX as buyer of crypto lender Voyager Digital
Binance.US, the American arm of the world’s largest crypto exchange by volume, is making a fresh bid for assets of Voyager Digital, CEO Changpeng “CZ” Zhao said on Thursday.
TSX-listed Voyager Digital filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy nearly four months ago following the crash of major crypto tokens TerraUSD and Luna. In September, FTX.US won the auction to purchase the assets of Canada’s digital assets broker with a bid of just over $1.42 billion. But the implosion of FTX and its associated entities has left the bankrupt crypto lender without a buyer.
“Binance.US will make another bid for Voyager now, given FTX is no longer able to follow through on that commitment. I think the U.S. national security concerns were rumors spread by FTX to try and push us out of the bid. There were never any concerns about us participating in the bid,” CZ said.
Binance had emerged before as one of the highest bidders for Voyager Digital’s assets. That came after Voyager’s bankruptcy lawyers rebuffed an approach by Bankman-Fried to buy the assets, describing an offer as a “lowball bid dressed up as a white knight rescue”.
Following FTX’s collapse, Voyager reopened the bidding process and its board was reportedly in active discussions with alternative bidders. The company also claims it did not transfer any assets to FTX in connection with the previous sale agreement.
Voyager, which counts more than 100,000 creditors and billions of dollars in liabilities, was caught out by the collapse of crypto hedge fund Three Arrows Capital, suffering losses of more than $650 million.
Voyager has been thrown a lifeline from Sam Bankman-Fried, offering to provide its customers with early-access liquidity. Under the proposed restructuring deal, FTX.US wanted to buy all of Voyager’s crypto assets and loans in cash at market value, except the loans to bankrupt crypto hedge fund Three Arrows Capital.
If approved, Voyager customers would have been able to claim a portion of their funds that were frozen by opening a new account at FTX.
In response, Voyager’s bankruptcy lawyers entered a public spat with Sam-Bankman Fried whose offer was described by them as harmful, highly misleading and only benefits FTX.
At the time, SBF responded by saying that his plan would give Voyager’s customers the ability to access assets that would otherwise be locked up for a significant time. He added that only the bankruptcy lawyers would benefit from dragging out the proceedings as the case navigates through bankruptcy court, while the customers would “get fucked.”