VanEck Bullish on Solana ETF: Will the SEC Agree?

VanEck, a leading investment management firm, is optimistic about the approval of a Spot Solana ETF (Exchange-Traded Fund) by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), even in the absence of a well-established futures market for the cryptocurrency.

This positive outlook comes from Matthew Sigel, VanEck’s Head of Digital Assets Research. In a recent interview, Sigel emphasized that a robust futures market isn’t always a prerequisite for ETF success, pointing to examples like uranium ETFs.

Solana’s Decentralization and Utility Paves the Way

VanEck’s approach hinges on the decentralized nature and utility of the Solana blockchain. Sigel compares Solana to Ethereum, stating, “when we assess decentralization and blockchain characteristics, Solana (SOL) and Ethereum (ETH) are fundamentally similar at this point.” This decentralized structure and its role in powering a popular open-source App Store position Solana as a viable ETF asset, according to VanEck.

Regulatory Landscape: Challenges and Opportunities

The current US regulatory framework typically emphasizes a significant futures market for ETF approval, aiming to ensure transparency and price discovery. Sigel acknowledges this but expresses optimism, suggesting a potential change in leadership at the SEC could pave the way for approval: “We believe approval is achievable, but it might require a different SEC Chair.”

VanEck’s experience with Solana ETFs in Europe, which have been operational for nearly three years, strengthens their case. This proven track record demonstrates their ability to navigate regulatory hurdles and market dynamics for innovative financial products.

Competition and Timeline

The race for a US-based Solana ETF is heating up. VanEck faces competition from 21Shares, another financial firm that filed for a similar ETF. Both companies recently submitted the required 19-b4 filings with the SEC, and Bloomberg’s ETF analyst predicts a mid-March 2025 deadline for their potential approval.

Broader Market Trends: Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Institutional Interest

Sigel also commented on the success of Spot Bitcoin ETFs, highlighting the impressive investor reception with over $16 billion invested within six months. He attributes this to early adoption by institutional investors, particularly hedge funds, paving the way for broader market participation.

Regarding Ethereum ETFs, Sigel acknowledges progress but notes challenges. While SEC Chair Gary Gensler has indicated a smoother approval process, the absence of staking rewards in US products could make them less attractive compared to global alternatives.

Regulatory Inconsistencies and the Future

Sigel sheds light on potential contradictions within the SEC’s current stance. He cites recent court rulings favoring decentralization in cases involving Ripple and Binance against SEC accusations. These rulings, according to Sigel, bode well for the ongoing lawsuit between Coinbase and the SEC.

Furthermore, Sigel believes the emphasis on a futures market for spot crypto ETFs like Solana and Ethereum might be a personal preference of the current SEC Chair. He emphasizes the need for a new leader to bring more regulatory clarity to the space.


VanEck’s confidence in a Solana ETF reflects growing institutional interest in the cryptocurrency. While regulatory hurdles remain, Sigel’s insights suggest potential pathways for approval, particularly with a shift in leadership at the SEC. The coming months will be crucial as competition intensifies and the regulatory landscape continues to evolve.