Breaking: VanEck Applies for Spot Solana ETF in the US

By Aaron Feuerstein June 28, 2024 In ETF, Solana, United States
Logo of the cryptocurrency Solana (SOL) hovering over a seamless orange background.
  • Crypto ETFs are trending, with Bitcoin and Ethereum leading the way; Solana may be next.
  • VanEck has applied for the first US Solana Spot ETF, aiming to broaden the ETF landscape.
  • The future of Solana as either a commodity or a security remains uncertain with regulatory debates ongoing.

Unless you have been living under a rock, you would have heard that crypto exchange-traded funds (ETFs) are all the rage right now. First Bitcoin got its Spot ETF in the US, Hong Kong and eventually on the ASX, then Ethereum has inched closer to trading a fund – which is expected to happen by early July.

Related: Is the Crypto Bull Market Over? Miles Deutscher Weighs in with Decisive Insights

Additionally, several industry insiders predicted it’s time for other altcoins to have a go at an ETF.

And here we are: VanEck has just filed an application for a Spot Solana ETF. The price of SOL has spiked as much as 8% on the back of the news, trading just under US$148 (AU$222) at the time of writing.

Solana (SOL), daily graph, source: CoinMarketCap

Head of Digital Assets Announces First US Solana Spot Fund

In a first for the United States, VanEck has just announced the application via its Head of digital asset research, Matthew Sigel. Sigel posted a lengthy statement on platform X detailing the reasons for the listing.

VanEck SOL ETF filing, source: Matthew Sigel via X

He highlighted the “open-source blockchain software” Solana uses to “handle various applications, including payments, trading, gaming, and social interactions”.

Additionally, Sigel pointed to Solana’s perceived superiority over other digital assets.

Operating as a single global state machine without sharding or layer 2s, the Solana blockchain’s unique combination of scalability, speed, and low costs may offer a better user experience for many use cases.

Matthew Sigel

VanEck believes Solana is a commodity, functioning in similar ways to Bitcoin and Ethereum, saying:

It is utilized to pay for transaction fees and computational services on the blockchain. Like ether on the Ethereum network, SOL can be traded on digital asset platforms or used in peer-to-peer transactions.

Matthew Sigel

A spot ETF directly purchases and holds the underlying asset it tracks, while a futures ETF invests in futures contracts for the asset – potentially leading to different price behaviours and regulatory considerations.

Verdict Still Out if Solana is a Commodity or a Security

Sigel mentioned Solana’s status as a commodity several times in his post – however, that doesn’t mean that regulators will agree with that view.

The Chair of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Gary Gensler, has stated in the past that “everything other than Bitcoin is a security”.

So naturally the crypto community reacted with mixed feelings to VanEck’s announcement – which received over 1 million views – with some welcoming the move and others urging caution.

Related: TRON’s Influence Expands as User Addresses Near 2.5 Million Holders

Some even criticised the Solana distribution model, and others found issue with a lack of decentralisation.

There is also the matter of a missing Futures ETF, which seemed to have helped Bitcoin and possibly Ether over the finishing line.

So, it remains to be seen what level of success VanEck and other potential applicants have and what role politics and the US presidential elections later this year have in all of this – we certainly shouldn’t expect a Spot Solana ETF trading anytime soon.

Aaron Feuerstein

Aaron Feuerstein

Aaron Feuerstein is a freelance writer based in Melbourne. His focus is on decentralised finance and the regulatory space surrounding blockchain. He holds a Master's in Accounting. When he is not studying the latest legal case, he enjoys his time as a modest but eager hobby cook.

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