VanEck Backs Solana Over XRP: Head of Digital Assets Explains Spot ETF Decision

  • VanEck recently revealed plans to launch a spot Solana-based Exchange Traded Fund (ETF), a decision discussed in-depth by Matthew Sigel, the firm’s Head of Digital Assets Research, during an interview with Tony Edwards of Thinking Crypto.
  • The firm strategically chose Solana over XRP due to its decentralized nature and similarities to Ethereum, which they believe positions Solana better for regulatory approval.
  • Sigel’s insights shed light on the regulatory landscape, Solana’s blockchain characteristics, and the broader implications for future crypto ETFs.

Discover why VanEck backs Solana over XRP for its next ETF, emphasizing its decentralized blockchain similar to Ethereum and its potential for regulatory approval.

VanEck’s Rationale Behind Choosing Solana for Spot ETF

In an insightful conversation with Thinking Crypto, VanEck’s Head of Digital Assets Research, Matthew Sigel, elaborated on why the firm opted for a spot Solana-based ETF rather than one centered around XRP. He explained that after evaluating Solana’s blockchain characteristics, which closely mirror those of Ethereum, the decision became evident. Solana’s decentralization plays a crucial role: no single entity controls more than 20% of its outstanding assets nor can unilaterally halt the chain, making it an attractive option in the eyes of regulators.

The Significance of Decentralization in Regulatory Approval

Sigel emphasized that the SEC values decentralization when assessing crypto assets. By aligning Solana’s attributes with those of Ethereum, VanEck aims to position its Solana ETF as a viable commodity. Despite the lack of a significant regulated futures market for Solana, which is typically a requirement for ETF approval, Sigel remains optimistic. He drew comparisons with other markets like power and shipping where futures markets are less impactful on price formation, suggesting that these precedents could favor Solana.

Implications of SEC’s Regulatory Environment on Crypto ETFs

Sigel also touched on the broader regulatory landscape, noting the “schizophrenic” state due to varying legal outcomes in cases involving the SEC and cryptocurrency companies like Coinbase and Ripple. Recent rulings have excluded secondary sales of certain crypto assets like XRP from being classified as securities under the Howey test, which Sigel sees as favorable for ongoing legal battles involving crypto assets. Such precedents play a pivotal role in shaping future regulations and ETF approvals.

Challenges in Launching an XRP-Based ETF

When queried about the potential for an XRP ETF, Sigel pointed out significant hurdles. Bringing an ETF to market involves gaining alignment among regulators, market infrastructure providers, and customers. According to Sigel, VanEck faced challenges in internal conviction and customer demand for an XRP ETF. As a result, the focus remains on more viable options like Solana.

The Roadmap for Future Crypto ETFs

Looking ahead, Sigel discussed VanEck’s broader ambitions for crypto ETFs. He highlighted the firm’s existing European products, such as a top crypto product featuring the five leading assets and a smart contract leaders ETF. These existing products suggest a strategic pathway that could potentially be replicated in the US, dependent on regulatory clarity and market conditions. The successful launch of a Solana ETF could pave the way for more ETFs based on other proof-of-stake coins and even multi-asset ETFs featuring top cryptocurrencies.


VanEck’s decision to pursue a spot Solana ETF underscores the importance of decentralization and regulatory alignment in the evolving crypto market. By drawing parallels with Ethereum, VanEck aims to enhance Solana’s credibility and pave the way for future crypto ETFs. While challenges persist, notably around regulatory approvals and market conditions, the firm’s strategic approach offers promising signs for the development of diverse crypto investment products. As the regulatory landscape continues to evolve, VanEck remains at the forefront, navigating new opportunities for its investors.

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Jocelyn Blake
Jocelyn Blake
Jocelyn Blake is a 29-year-old writer with a particular interest in NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens). With a love for exploring the latest trends in the cryptocurrency space, Jocelyn provides valuable insights on the world of NFTs.

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