Court Approves Voyager Digital’s Acquisition by Binance.US
The government’s appeal for a stay of the confirmation order was denied, as Judge Wiles deemed the accusations of fraud, theft, or tax avoidance as exaggerations and mischaracterizations. The appeal had also demanded the removal of a provision preventing US authorities from pursuing anyone involved with the sale. The court’s decision allows Binance.US to close the sale and issue repayment tokens to impacted Voyager customers.
The US Securities and Exchange Commission had objected to the redistribution of funds from Voyager to Binance.US, citing violations of US securities laws. However, Judge Wiles rejected their arguments, stating that 97% of 61,300 Voyager account holders favored the restructuring plan. The bankruptcy plan is expected to result in Voyager creditors recovering approximately 73% of the value of their funds.
This ruling is a significant win for Voyager Digital and Binance.US, as it allows them to move forward with their acquisition plans and repay impacted customers. It also sets a precedent for future bankruptcy cases involving crypto-related companies, as it shows that bankruptcy courts may be willing to approve deals involving the transfer of crypto assets. The decision highlights the importance of transparency and customer satisfaction in bankruptcy proceedings, as shown by the overwhelming support for Voyager Digital’s restructuring plan. Overall, this ruling is a positive step towards building a more stable and trustworthy crypto ecosystem.
Terra’s Partnership with Washington Nationals Raises Eyebrows
While some attendees were intrigued by the appearance of Terra, others were left questioning the wisdom of the partnership between Terra and the Washington Nationals. One Twitter user noted that the Terra Club, a VIP pre-game venue experience, was located behind home plate at Nationals Park, with “a big sign in left center” promoting Terra.
The partnership between Terra and the Washington Nationals had been in effect since February 2022, just months before Terra’s collapse. The Terra community had committed $38.2 million in TerraUSD (UST) over five years to secure the deal. Terra’s founder, Do Kwon, proposed the partnership through the community’s governance platform.
However, the timing of the collapse of Terra has left some investors in the cryptocurrency wondering if they will ever see a return on their investment. In May 2022, Terra’s price plummeted, wiping out billions of dollars in market value. The collapse was attributed to a combination of factors, including a lack of transparency, poor risk management, and overreliance on leverage.
Adding to the uncertainty surrounding Terra is the arrest of its founder, Do Kwon. Kwon is currently in police custody in Montenegro and is reportedly facing harsh conditions in the penal system. According to an unnamed criminal defense lawyer cited in a March 29 Protos report, the conditions at Montenegro’s jails and prisons “haven’t changed” from those described in a 2020 human rights report by the United States State Department. The report cited a 2015 case in which prison officers were convicted of torturing and “inflicting grievous bodily harm” on 11 inmates.
Despite the collapse of Terra and the arrest of its founder, the partnership with the Washington Nationals remains in effect. The prominent display of Terra at Nationals Park raises questions about the wisdom of partnering with a cryptocurrency ecosystem that has experienced such a dramatic collapse. It also highlights the potential risks associated with investing in cryptocurrencies, which remain largely unregulated and subject to extreme volatility.
In conclusion, the appearance of Terra at Nationals Park during the Washington Nationals’ home opener on March 30 has drawn attention to the cryptocurrency ecosystem’s collapse and its partnership with the baseball team. While some attendees were intrigued by Terra’s message of “decentralized money,” others were left questioning the wisdom of partnering with a company that has experienced such a dramatic collapse. The arrest of Terra’s founder, Do Kwon, and the potential risks associated with investing in cryptocurrencies underscore the need for caution when investing in these emerging technologies.
Bermuda Remains Committed to Crypto Despite FTX Collapse
Bermuda, a self-governing territory with a parliamentary government, was one of the first places to implement a regulatory framework for digital assets. It is just 915 miles away from the Bahamas, where FTX once operated, and Burt reportedly faced intense political pressure before the exchange’s failure as it chose the Bahamas instead of Bermuda for its headquarters. However, according to Burt, the latest events in the crypto industry had a minimal impact on the territory thanks to its regulations.
Burt recently met with United States lawmakers and government officials in Washington to discuss common standards for digital assets, as well as topics related to Bermuda’s finance and insurance sectors. He believes that regulators worldwide must work together to provide clarity for emergent technologies.
Despite the challenges, Bermuda continues to show a strong interest in digital assets. The territory recently released its first stablecoin, powered by the Polygon blockchain, in December 2022. The stablecoin focuses on enabling real-time settlements using a stablecoin with a 1:1 peg to the U.S. dollar.
Bermuda’s regulatory framework for digital assets has made it an attractive destination for crypto and blockchain companies. The territory’s government is actively encouraging companies to set up shop there and has implemented measures to streamline the registration process. In addition to the regulatory framework, Bermuda has a strong infrastructure, including high-speed internet, and skilled professionals in finance and technology.
Burt’s affirmation of Bermuda’s commitment to digital assets and blockchain technology is a positive sign for the crypto industry, which has faced significant regulatory challenges in recent years. The territory’s stable regulatory framework and commitment to innovation demonstrate that there are places where crypto and blockchain companies can thrive while adhering to regulations.
Bittrex to Wind Down US Operations
Founded in 2014 by three cybersecurity engineers, Bittrex offered features such as a full-service API, near-instant atomic transactions, wallet infrastructure, and offline cold wallet solutions. However, the winding down of Bittrex’s US operations is a reminder of the challenges faced by cryptocurrency businesses navigating an uncertain regulatory environment.
The company’s founders have decided to focus on helping Bittrex Global succeed outside the United States. Bittrex clarified that US customers do not have to worry about the safety of their funds, as all of their capital is safe and available for withdrawal. The platform shared that it will permit trading until April 14, 2023, but advised customers to withdraw all funds by April 30, 2023.
Bittrex’s decision to wind down its US operations is not an isolated incident. On March 3, Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse warned that the Securities and Exchange Commission’s regulatory approach puts the US at “severe risk” of missing out on being an attractive hub for the next evolution of blockchain and crypto innovation. In a Bloomberg interview, Garlinghouse suggested that the crypto industry has “already started moving outside” of the US because the country’s crypto regulation is “behind” other nations like Australia, Japan, the United Kingdom, Singapore, and Switzerland.
The regulatory environment for cryptocurrencies in the US has been a subject of debate and discussion for some time. While some states, such as Wyoming, have taken a more lenient approach to cryptocurrency regulation, others have been more restrictive. In addition, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has been criticized for its lack of clarity regarding which cryptocurrencies qualify as securities and which do not. This lack of clarity has resulted in several high-profile legal battles between the SEC and cryptocurrency companies.
Despite these challenges, the cryptocurrency industry continues to grow and evolve. While Bittrex may be winding down its US operations, other exchanges and companies are likely to step in to fill the void. It remains to be seen how the regulatory environment for cryptocurrencies will evolve in the coming years, but one thing is clear: the demand for cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology shows no signs of slowing down.
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