A US judge has ruled in favor of the $1 billion asset-sale plan between Voyager Digital and Binance.US, denying the Department of Justice’s appeal to halt the deal. The decision by Judge Michael Wiles of the District Court of the Southern District of New York marks a significant victory for both Voyager and Binance. US.
The DOJ filed an appeal motion on Friday, seeking to review Judge Wiles’ approval of the deal. However, during a Wednesday hearing on the DOJ’s move to halt the order pending appeal, Judge Wiles reiterated his approval of the plan, stating that any further delay would harm Voyager’s customers.
Voyager Digital is a publicly traded crypto-asset broker, while Binance.US is a leading cryptocurrency exchange. The asset-sale plan involves the transfer of Voyager’s retail customers to Binance.US in exchange for $1 billion worth of Binance Coin (BNB). The deal is seen as a significant move for both companies, as it will allow Voyager to focus on its institutional business while also providing Binance.US with a large customer base.
The DOJ had previously raised concerns about the deal, stating that it could raise antitrust issues and harm competition in the crypto market. However, Judge Wiles dismissed these concerns, saying that he had not seen any illegalities in the plan and that it was in the best interest of Voyager’s customers.
The ruling is a significant win for Voyager, which has faced legal challenges from the SEC over its digital asset offerings. The company has been working to resolve these issues and recently announced plans to go public through a merger with a special-purpose acquisition company (SPAC).
Overall, the ruling marks a significant development in the rapidly evolving crypto industry, highlighting the increasing mainstream adoption of digital assets and the need for clear regulatory frameworks to govern their use. While the DOJ may still appeal the ruling, Voyager and Binance.US can move forward with their asset-sale plan and continue to expand their offerings in the crypto market.
The ruling also signals a shift in the DOJ’s approach to the crypto industry. While the agency has been increasingly acting in regulating digital assets, this case marks the first time it has attempted to block a crypto-related deal on antitrust grounds. Some legal experts have expressed concern that the DOJ’s intervention could stifle innovation and competition in the industry. In contrast, others argue that such scrutiny is necessary to prevent market concentration and protect consumers.
Regardless of the case’s outcome, the ruling will likely have significant implications for the broader crypto market. With institutional investors and traditional financial institutions increasingly looking to enter the space, regulators must strike a delicate balance between promoting innovation and protecting consumers. As the industry continues to evolve, it will be necessary for companies and regulators to stay abreast of new developments and work together to establish clear guidelines and best practices.