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SEC and NYDFS Oppose Binance.US and Voyager Deal

UTC by Ibukun Ogundare · 3 min read
SEC and NYDFS Oppose Binance.US and Voyager Deal
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The SEC said Binance.US purchasing Voyager Digital’s assets could prove unlawful or discriminatory.

The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has opposed the $1.02 billion deal between the US arm of popular crypto exchange Binance and crypto brokerage Voyager Digital. The financial watchdog has recently intensified its watch over crypto and crypto companies. Crypto exchange Kraken was recently forced to shutter its crypto staking operations to settle SEC charges. The company agreed to shut the cryptocurrency staking operation and pay a $30 million fine. The settlement followed a close-door commissioner meeting earlier this month. This and more actions have sent fear to the crypto community as it is unsure what the regulator’s next step would be. News on Kraken’s settlement came shortly after Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong talked about rumors flying around that the SEC may ban crypto staking for retail customers. He wrote that “it would be a terrible path” for the nation if such happened.

SEC Objects Binance.US and Voyager Digital’s $1B Deal

Amid the ongoings, the SEC said Binance.US purchasing Voyager Digital’s assets could prove unlawful or discriminatory. The financial watchdog also said that some elements of the deal may also infringe on the law, considering the plan concerning repaying the lender’s former customers.

“Specifically, they fail to adequately describe whether third parties, including Binance.US affiliates or foreign persons or entities, will have access to the keys for customer wallets of control over anyone with access to such wallets.”

Part of SEC’s concern is that there are no explanations on how measures would be taken to secure customers’ assets from being removed from the exchange’s platform. The SEC maintained that there are no declarations from Binance US on the “internal control and practices relating to the safety and custody of customer assets.”

The regulator noted that Voyager Digital is responsible for submitting “credible evidence” that proves the feasibility of the plans. The agency added that the evidence is required to ensure the idea is not against applicable law.

New York State Regulator Against Voyager-Binance Agreement

More opposition against the Binance US and Voyager deal came from New York State’s Department of Financial Services (NYDFS). The state agency and Attorney General Letitia James alleged that the crypto brokerage was unlawfully serving customers.

“Despite the fact that none of the Debtors are licensed in New York, the Department is aware of allegations and other information indicating that one or more of the Debtors may have operated and may be continuing to operate in New York in violation of Applicable Law.”

NYDFS claimed that Voyager added New York customers to its customer base. Therefore, it is illegally operating a virtual currency business in New York.

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