(Bloomberg) -- Voyager Digital Ltd. won a bankruptcy judge’s permission to pay $1.6 million in bonuses to employees deemed critical to the insolvent crypto lender’s future.

The payouts will go to 34 Voyager employees -- none of whom are top executives -- who work in areas like accounting and IT infrastructure, according to court papers. The bonuses are equal to 22.5% of each employee’s annual salary.

Voyager’s official creditor committee had earlier attacked the bonus plan as unnecessary, but dropped its objection after the crypto lender agreed to take steps including slashing the size of the bonus pool and to quickly cut $4.6 million of annual costs elsewhere.

US Bankruptcy Judge Michael Wiles in a hearing Wednesday said he would approve the bonuses. Preventing key employees from quitting will help Voyager maximize the value of its business and, in turn, maximize creditor recoveries, he said. 

Voyager customers with crypto stuck on the platform still haven’t recovered any of their holdings. Those who stored cash with the company have so far fared better: about $219 million, or 80%, of customer cash trapped in the platform since the start of the bankruptcy has since been returned, a lawyer for Voyager said in the hearing.

The bankruptcy is Voyager Digital Holdings Inc., 22-10943, U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York (Manhattan). 


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