Binance.US has entered an agreement to acquire the assets of the insolvent cryptocurrency brokerage Voyager, as earlier reported by CNBC. In a press release on Binance.US’s site, the California-based company says the move should free up customer funds that have been locked up in the bankrupt Voyager Digital.
Binance.US, which is led by CEO Brian Shroder, is only available to users in the US and remains a separate entity from the international trading platform Binance, owned by Changpeng (CZ) Zhao.
Voyager says the Binance.US bid is worth just over $1 billion, which is an estimate of the value of Voyager’s crypto profile plus an additional $20 million in consideration. As part of the agreement, Binance.US will make a $10 million deposit and reimburse Voyager “for certain expenses up to a maximum of $15 million.” While FTX US was initially set to acquire Voyager’s assets, that deal fell through following its catastrophic collapse and the downfall of its founder, Sam Bankman-Fried. Shroder says the company’s goal is to give Voyager customers access to their assets next March.
In July, Voyager Digital filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy just days after the collapse of the crypto hedge fund Three Arrows Capital (3AC). The firm held around $1.3 billion in crypto assets at the time, with Voyager CEO Stephen Ehrlich partially blaming its collapse on 3AC’s failure to pay back its over $650 million debt.
With the collapse of FTX, scrutiny of the crypto market is peaking. Just today, Reuters reported that Binance’s finances are essentially a “black box” that keeps Binance.com activity under wraps. And as investors grow more concerned over the state of the cryptocurrency industry, both Shroder and CZ have attempted to instill confidence in their customers, whether through Q&A sessions or by publishing proof of reserves. Shroder says Binance.US is “well capitalized” and that the company maintains 1:1 reserves. “All of our customers could withdraw their assets tomorrow, which is their right & we would still have hundreds of millions of current assets,” he says.
“We hope our selection brings to an end a painful bankruptcy process which saw customers unfairly dragged into it at no fault of their own,” Shroder says. “Our goal is simple: return users their cryptocurrency on the fastest timeline possible.”