January 28, 2023

Voyager Digital exchange has been given a stop and desist injunction by the Bureau of Securities for marketing unregistered securities via a Voyager Earn scheme.New Jersey’s action follows a string of rulings and complaints in the state against issuers of crypto-based products and services. Voyager Digital is a decentralized crypto platform for lending, trading, and staking.

Voyager Selling Unlicensed Securities

According to the decision, all the cryptocurrency lending and staking accounts provided under the project from 2019 to date are unregistered securities giving a false promise of a 12% interest rate.

The Bureau points to Voyager’s web page’s statements inviting visitors to “build their portfolio” and “travel to the next frontier of investment” as proof of the allegation.

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According to New Jersey, around 52,900 accounts, including $187 million worth of crypto, are held by state residents; out of over 1.5 million registered users, approximately $5 billion in total assets on Voyager.

Voyager’s marketing strategies were also questioned, with authorities claiming that promotional materials for the project neglected to reveal that the project’s parent firm, Voyager Digital, is just a publicly listed corporation in Canada and not the United States. According to the ruling, this “presents a false impression about the legal status of Voyager Digital.”

Additionally, the Bureau contends that although Voyager purported to be registered, it has only been permitted in a limited number of jurisdictions to do “financial services business,” which does not entail the selling of unlicensed securities. It stated that the assertion “may give inexperienced investors the false impression that the company is “authorized” to issue and distribute such products.”

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Other States Sanction The Platform

Five more jurisdictions, Texas, Kentucky, Alabama, Oklahoma, and Vermont, have issued different orders to the crypto firm or required that the firm demonstrate it’s not selling unlicensed securities in order to continue doing business in other states.

Other Crypto Platforms Sanctioned

This event is part of many similar instances or rulings against cryptocurrency firms that provide consumers with interest-bearing wallets. In February, Washington issued a similar stop and refrain injunction and a fine of $100 million against cryptocurrency lending site, BlockFi for marketing unlicensed securities as interest-bearing wallet accounts.

Also, the SEC vowed to prosecute Coinbase in September if the crypto exchange unveiled its Coinbase Lending service. This service would have been similar to the interest-bearing portfolios offered by Voyager and Blockfi to cryptocurrency lenders. Coinbase executive Brian Armstrong described the Regulator’s actions as “very shady,” given the threat was made with no legal overtures.

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