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Judge Slams SEC's Objections to Binance-Voyager Deal

A US bankruptcy judge is "absolutely shocked" at the SEC's objection to Binance's $1 billion acquisition of Voyager Digital.

Image credit: CALI on Flickr

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The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has come under criticism from a US bankruptcy judge for objecting against Binance's acquisition of Voyager Digital.

Last Wednesday, the SEC said in a filing that the US$1 billion deal could violate laws and might be discriminatory. The SEC was particularly concerned about how Binance plans to repay Voyager’s former customers.

Read more: Binance Rekt by SEC Again as $1B Voyager Deal Opposed

On Thursday, US Bankruptcy Court Judge Michael Wiles said he was "absolutely shocked" at the SEC for interfering without explaining giving guidance.

“You come here and tell me … that I should stop everybody in their tracks because you might have an issue,” Wiles said, addressing counsel for the SEC. “It's kind of a weird objection.”

SEC, CFIUS Approval Needed

The deal cannot close without final approval from the SEC and the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS).

SEC representative William Uptegrove said creditors were not sufficiently warned of regulatory risks. When asked by Wiles whether Voyager actually violated US secruity laws, Uptegrove said the SEC could not provide a definitive stance.

"We can't take a position at this point," Uptegrove said. "The SEC is a deliberative body, and it's process is a nonpublic one by federal law."

Wiles demanded that the SEC provide answers as to how it plans to address its concerns.

"Deliberative is one thing, but what have you done?"  Wiles responded to Uptegrove. "If there are reasons to be concerned here, I need to hear specifics."

“I get the feeling that this objection has been made as a kind of cover, so you can say later that we'll see we raised these issues,” he also said. “You haven't really, you have done nothing.

Continued arguments on Voyager's bankruptcy plan will be heard by Wiles on Friday.

Tying up loose ends

Voyager made news this week after selling vast amounts of crypto. Arkham Intelligence data shows Voyager transferred around US$121 million in crypto to various crypto exchanges in February. Just this week, it received US$150 million in USDC stablecoins.

At least US$54 million was transferred to Coinbase and Binance.US over the past week. US$27.4 million of Ethereum, US$12.2 million of Shiba Inu and US$2.5 million of Link were also sent to the other exchanges over the last week.

Meanwhile, on Tuesday, Voyager revealed its customer base voted in favour if its Chapter 11 bankruptcy plan.

Read more: Voyager Sells Crypto, Customers Vote for Bankruptcy

"Voyager customer voting on the company’s chapter 11 plan has concluded and finalized: of those who participated, 97% of customers, representing 98% of the total claims, voted in favor," the company tweeted.

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