• Product joins other Osprey funds offering exposure to bitcoin, Algorand and Polkadot as firm is focused on providing investor access to promising Layer 1 protocols
  • SOL reached as high as $213.47 within the last day, according to CoinGecko, and its price of $196.75, as of 1:30 p.m. eastern, was up 77.6% from seven days ago

Osprey Funds’ has launched the first investment vehicle to offer exposure to SOL, the native token used on the Solana blockchain as the token’s price has recently rallied.

The New York-based digital asset manager announced on Thursday morning the launch of the Osprey Solana Trust for private placement. 

Currently available to accredited investors with a $10,000 minimum investment, the firm plans to pursue listing the fund on the OTCQX market, according to a news release. It has also agreed to waive the management fee for all investors until January 2023.

We’ve been focused on launching first-to-market funds that track what we think are promising Layer 1 protocols,” Osprey Funds CEO Greg King told Blockworks. “Solana is a great example of that [with its] extremely fast transaction speed and low costs.”

Anatoly Yakovenko, Solana’s founder and CEO, introduced proof-of-history to the blockchain, an algorithmic solution for time-stamping transactions. The innovation enables the Solana network to process 65,000 transactions per second, with sub-second block finality. The firm expects the network to get faster as its bandwidth increases.

Matthew Sigel, head of digital assets research at fund manager VanEck, previously said that the proliferation of competing Layer 1 smart contract platforms has come about amid a higher demand for lower transaction prices and faster throughput than what the Ethereum network provides. He noted that Solana’s transactions per second could rival Nasdaq, opening up the potential to securitize, tokenize and trade existing assets using the Solana network.

King said that Osprey became determined to launch a Solana product after meeting with the Solana team in June in Miami. The firm also offers the Osprey Bitcoin Trust (OBTC), the Osprey Polkadot Trust and the Osprey Algorand Trust.

“We’ve seen it integrating itself into the NFT boom and there are so many other potential applications for Solana,” King added. “So for us it was a logical next step in terms of our product development.”

The launch comes as SOL’s price has increased in recent days while competing tokens have dipped. 

SOL reached as high as $213.47 within the last day, according to CoinGecko. Its price of $196.75, as of 1:30 pm eastern, was up 77.6% from seven days ago, the data shows. Its market capitalization of about $58 billion is now the sixth-highest among tokens, behind Binance Coin and ahead of XRP.

The price of seven of the other nine top 10 tokens by market cap were down from seven days ago, CoinGecko indicated, aside from Tether and USD Coin, which were essentially flat — up 0.2% and 0.1%, respectively, over the span.

King attributed some of the recent buzz around Solana to crypto exchange FTX’s announcement that its new NFT marketplace would allow creators and owners to trade their digital art using both Solana and Ethereum.

“I think it’s just caught wind out there in the face of what was otherwise a fairly sharp pull-back,” the Osprey Funds CEO said. “We felt it was pretty impressive to see Solana hold up and make gains the last few days.”

Though Ethereum has the early lead in the decentralized finance, or DeFi space, King said, he labeled Solana and Algorand as potential challengers. Osprey remains supportive of Ethereum, he added, and continues to monitor the space from a product standpoint.

“No one knows how this is going to end,” King said. “But our focus is on bringing these types of layer-one protocols that we do think can carve out a niche or even be very broadly and widely used … to market in a way so that investors who need more traditional access vehicles, like funds, can participate.”

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  • Ben Strack is a Denver-based reporter covering macro economics, financial services and digital asset management. Prior to joining Blockworks, he covered the asset management industry for Fund Intelligence, and was a reporter and editor for various local newspapers on Long Island. He graduated from the University of Maryland with a degree in journalism.