On Monday, VanEck, a financial institution with close to $82 billion in assets under management with exchange-traded funds, or ETFs, mutual funds, and institutional accounts, announced the launch of its first cryptocurrency fund. The fund is listed as an exchange-traded note, or ETN, on the Deutsche Borse Xetra and SIX Swiss Exchanges with exposure to Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Polkadot (DOT), Solana (SOL), Tron, Avalanche (AVAX), and Polygon (MATIC).
Gijs Koning, co-head of VanEck Europe, elaborated on why it was important for the firm to facilitate investment in digital currencies:
In early 2017, we determined that digital assets could provide a store of value alternative to currencies and gold, as well as a host of technology solutions that could bring down costs in the payments and investing industries.
While VanEck’s cryptocurrency financial products are gaining traction in Europe, they face regulatory hurdles in the U.S. There, the firm’s offerings are limited to private digital currency funds for institutional investors and only stock-based ETFs comprised of companies utilizing blockchain technology.
Last November, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission rejected VanEck’s Bitcoin spot ETF application. In explaining the decision, the regulatory agency cited that the underlying exchange responsible for listing the ETF, the Cboe BZX, did not have a proper “surveillance-sharing agreement with markets trading the underlying assets [of Bitcoin].” The SEC then used the same rule to reject Fidelity’s Wise Origin Bitcoin Trust spot ETF the week prior. Two ETFs, the ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF and Valkyrie Bitcoin Strategy ETF, received SEC approval partly because they track the price of regulated Bitcoin futures contracts, and not its spot price derived from averages of numerous exchanges.