VanEck Files for First U.S. Solana-Based ETF

VanEck Files for First U.S. Solana-Based ETF

Crypto-friendly issuer seeks to create spot fund as SEC appears to warm to crypto.

RonDay
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Managing Editor
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Reviewed by: etf.com Staff
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Edited by: James Rubin

VanEck has applied to create the first ETF based on Solana, aiming to widen investors’ cryptocurrency options as U.S. regulators have lowered their resistance to funds that hold digital currencies. 

The VanEck Solana Trust will be a so-called spot fund, meaning it will own the cryptocurrency, according to today’s Securities and Exchange Commission filing. The filing leaves blank the amount of money VanEck will seed the fund with and a possible ticker. 

The approval of spot bitcoin exchange-traded funds earlier this year, and what appears to be the pending approval of spot Ethereum funds is sparking a wider acceptance for crypto assets and a race to create vehicles for investors to pour money into them. Spot bitcoin ETFs have been an enormous success, with $14.5 billion of inflows in less than six months, according to U.K.-based Farside Investors. 

“This combination of high throughput, low fees, robust security, and a strong community vibe makes Solana an attractive option for an exchange-traded fund,” VanEck’s head of digital assets research Matthew Sigel tweeted

VanEck manages $82.1 billion in 68 ETFs, including the $588.4 million VanEck Bitcoin Trust (HODL), the $28.7 million VanEck Ethereum Strategy ETF (EFUT) and the $116.5 million VanEck Digital Transformation ETF (DAPP). The New York-based firm also runs 12 exchange-traded notes in Europe that provide spot exposure to various digital assets.

Solana Price Jumps on VanEck Filing

Solana is the native cryptocurrency of a smart contracts blockchain and the fifth largest token with a $69 billion market capitalization, according to crypto data markets provider CoinMarketCap. The protocol aims to offer a faster alternative to the Ethereum network. It was up about 2% over the past hour and has risen more than 8% over the past 24 hours.

Earlier this month, observers of cryptocurrencies on social media had speculated that the token would be the next asset to serve as the basis for a spot crypto ETF.

The SEC is weighing nine proposals for spot Ethereum funds that would track the price of ether. Market observers including Bloomberg analyst Eric Balchunas have speculated the Ethereum funds may be approved next week; Reuters yesterday reported anonymous sources saying the approval would be as soon as July 4. 

Bitcoin and and ether are the largest cryptocurrencies by market value. 

In an X post, Balchunas wrote that it would be difficult for the Solana-based fund to receive SEC approval without a futures market, although he noted that if a seemingly more crypto friendly Donald Trump administration replaces skeptic Gary Gensler as SEC head, the odds of a greenlight could improve.

 

“The knee jerk reaction here is 'oh this will never be approved bc there aren't Solana futures' agree but.. if change at POTUS i think anything poss. Just imagine Hester Peirce (or someone like that) running the SEC." Balchunas wrote.

Additional reporting for this story was provided by etf.com contributing editor James Rubin.

Ron Day is Managing Editor at etf.com. He joined the company in October 2022 and previously served as editor and deputy managing editor.

Ron covered business and financial news at Bloomberg News for 20 years, working on the breaking news, technology, commodities, headlines and First Word teams. He was previously senior editor at ESG news outlet Karma Impact and filled the same role at Boundless Impact. He also covered a variety of beats at New Jersey daily papers including the Daily Record in Parsippany, the North Jersey Herald & News and the Asbury Park Press. Ron's freelance work has been published in AARP.com, Investopedia.com and BigThink.com.

Ron is an advocate and fan of literacy. He hopes to one day master his Telecaster, rather than the other way around. His wonderful family includes a 10-lb. malti-poo named Emmy.