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What now for Voyager? FTX US buyout falls apart as SBF’s empire teeters on brink

By Raphael Sanis

Edited by Charlie Mellor


Updated

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In this article:
BNB/USD
Binance Coin / USD
322.69 USD
10.55 +3.460%
COIN
Coinbase
61.10 USD
8.29 +15.790%
FTT/USD
FTT/USD
1.9593 USD
0.0377 +1.960%

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A gavel in front of Voyager text
FTX won an auction to take over Voyager’s assets, but VGX could now turn to other bids – Photo: Shutterstock

Voyager Digital investors were handed a lifeline at the end of September 2022 after the cryptocurrency exchange FTX – which is powered by the native FTX token (FTT) – won a bid to buy the bankrupt lender’s assets.

However, there is once again uncertainty for investors in Voyager’s native voyager token (VGX) after FTX ran into its own crisis, leading to the exchange announcing its bankruptcy on 11 November 2022.

Now, the auction has opened up once again as Voyager looks for a new buyer following FTX’s demise. A selection of notable companies had competed in September’s auction and some are already reviewing their offers.

VGX to USD

A competitive auction

Voyager, a centralised cryptocurrency lender, filed for bankruptcy on 5 July 2022, in the wake of the May crypto crash and its exposure to the failed Three Arrows Capital hedge fund.

September saw “a highly competitive auction process” to acquire Voyager’s assets. The parties involved included Coinbase (COIN), Binance (BNB) and others, but it was FTX which was successful with its winning bid of approximately $1.42bn.

This was good news for previous clients of Voyager who were looking to retrieve their funds. Court documents revealed in late October that investors could receive up to 72% of their accounts’ value.

Voyager’s options

The downfall of FTX, which has gone into bankruptcy following a retracted rescue deal from Binance, has thrown the agreement with Voyager into question

While the exchange is putting out its own fires, Voyager is now pursuing other options

DOGE/USD

0.09 Price
+2.410% 1D Chg, %
Long position overnight fee -0.0500%
Short position overnight fee 0.0140%
Overnight fee time 22:00 (UTC)
Spread 0.0013746

XRP/USD

0.41 Price
+1.100% 1D Chg, %
Long position overnight fee -0.0500%
Short position overnight fee 0.0140%
Overnight fee time 22:00 (UTC)
Spread 0.00383

LUNC/USD

0.00 Price
+0.950% 1D Chg, %
Long position overnight fee -0.0500%
Short position overnight fee -0.0500%
Overnight fee time 22:00 (UTC)
Spread 0.00000731

BTC/USD

23,554.30 Price
+2.160% 1D Chg, %
Long position overnight fee -0.0500%
Short position overnight fee 0.0140%
Overnight fee time 22:00 (UTC)
Spread 66.00

There was initial hope that the deal could still go ahead as it was FTX.US that acquired the assets, which is a separate company from the main FTX exchange that experienced a liquidity crunch. Founder and ex-CEO Sam Bankman-Fried also reassured its users that FTX.US would not be affected by the crisis.

However, it was later announced that the whole FTX group, including its US branch, had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, and that Bankman-Fried was stepping down from his position.

As its name suggests, FTX.US is a cryptocurrency trading platform for North American users and offers fewer cryptos, in line with US regulatory requirements. 

As Voyager pulled out of the deal, it said in a statement: “It is important to note that Voyager did not transfer any assets to FTX US in connection with the previously proposed transaction. FTX US previously submitted a $5m ‘good faith’ deposit as part of the auction process, which is held in escrow.”

Before FTX’s collapse, US bankruptcy judge Michael Wiles said in October that Voyager has the right to cancel the agreement if a higher offer is presented, according to Bloomberg.

CrossTower, another cryptocurrency trading platform, revealed itself as a keen alternative in October, before FTX’s collapse. The exchange said it would continue to pursue the Voyager acquisition, despite being outbid by FTX at the time.

It appears to be living up to this promise. The exchange has revealed it is working on another offer for Voyager’s assets. 

A spokesperson told CoinTelegraph: “We’re not aware of any other interest at the moment, but even if other players enter the ring, CrossTower’s priority is to ensure the best interest of the Voyager customers and the wider crypto community.”

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The difference between trading assets and CFDs
The main difference between CFD trading and trading assets, such as commodities and stocks, is that you don’t own the underlying asset when you trade on a CFD.
You can still benefit if the market moves in your favour, or make a loss if it moves against you. However, with traditional trading you enter a contract to exchange the legal ownership of the individual shares or the commodities for money, and you own this until you sell it again.
CFDs are leveraged products, which means that you only need to deposit a percentage of the full value of the CFD trade in order to open a position. But with traditional trading, you buy the assets for the full amount. In the UK, there is no stamp duty on CFD trading, but there is when you buy stocks, for example.
CFDs attract overnight costs to hold the trades (unless you use 1-1 leverage), which makes them more suited to short-term trading opportunities. Stocks and commodities are more normally bought and held for longer. You might also pay a broker commission or fees when buying and selling assets direct and you’d need somewhere to store them safely.
Capital Com is an execution-only service provider. The material provided on this website is for information purposes only and should not be understood as an investment advice. Any opinion that may be provided on this page does not constitute a recommendation by Capital Com or its agents. We do not make any representations or warranty on the accuracy or completeness of the information that is provided on this page. If you rely on the information on this page then you do so entirely on your own risk.

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