Binance’s $1 billion acquisition of bankrupt crypto lender Voyager Digital could be delayed or blocked by a national security review in the U.S., according to a bankruptcy court filing Friday. The US-based subsidiary of crypto exchange Binance.us intends to buy Voyager’s crypto lending platform with an offer that includes $20 million in cash and crypto assets, but the U.S. Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) may challenge the planned acquisition.
Washington is increasingly using CFIUS to block Chinese investment in the United States.
Binance is owned by Chinese-born, Singapore-based Changpeng Zhao and has no permanent headquarters. The company has been the subject of a money laundering investigation by the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Binance.us, based in Palo Alto, California, has stated that its separate U.S. exchange is “completely independent” from the central Binance platform.
CFIUS did not mention any specific security concerns about the Voyager acquisition in its court filing. Still, it said bankruptcy courts have sometimes ruled that national security concerns can prevent a company from bidding for assets in bankruptcy.
Voyager filed for bankruptcy in July, months after the crash of significant crypto tokens TerraUSD and Luna sent shockwaves through the digital asset industry.
Voyager originally planned to sell its assets to FTX Trading. Still, that deal fell through when FTX filed for bankruptcy in November amid a spate of customer withdrawals and fraud allegations that led to the arrest of founder Sam Bankman-Fried.