A US review could slow down or stop the deal between Voyager Digital and Binance.
A U.S. national security review could delay or stop Binance’s plan to buy the bankrupt crypto lender Voyager Digital for $1 billion, according to a court filing on Friday.
Binance is the US-based partner of the cryptocurrency exchange.
The US wants to buy Voyager’s crypto lending platform. Their bid includes $20 million in cash and crypto assets that will be used to pay Voyager’s customers back.
But the US Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), an interagency group that reviews foreign investments in U.S. companies for risks to national security, said on Friday that its review “could affect the parties’ ability to complete the transactions, the timing of completion, or relevant terms.”
Lawyers for Binance and Voyager
On Friday, people asked the US for comments, but they didn’t answer right away.
Washington has been using CFIUS more and more as a way to stop Chinese investment in the U.S.
Binance is owned by Changpeng Zhao, who was born in China but now lives in Singapore. Binance does not have a permanent headquarters. U.S. prosecutors are looking into whether or not the company was used to launder money. Binance.US, which is based in Palo Alto, California, says that its separate American exchange is “fully independent” of the main Binance platform.
In its court filing, CFIUS didn’t mention any specific security concerns raised by the Voyager acquisition. Instead, it said that bankruptcy courts have sometimes ruled that a company can’t bid on assets in bankruptcy if there are national security concerns.
Voyager filed for bankruptcy in July, months after the crashes of major crypto tokens TerraUSD and Luna sent shockwaves through the digital asset industry.
Voyager had planned to sell its assets to FTX Trading, but that deal fell apart when FTX went bankrupt in November after a rush of customer withdrawals and accusations of fraud that led to the arrest of the company’s founder, Sam Bankman-Fried.