• The “Solana summer” has turned into an institutional fall as VanEck, one of the largest ETF issuers prepares a Solana-backed ETN listing in Germany
  • Solana has been one of the fastest growing protocols this year, but was struck with a series of technical challenges this week

VanEck is now offering Tron, Solana and Polkadot ETNs in Germany as a way to allow investors to capture the momentum of layer-1 alternatives to Ethereum in recent months.

The ETF and mutual fund manager is looking to enter the crypto space from yet another angle. VanEck currently offers a Bitcoin Tracker Fund, which gives accredited US investors and qualified offshore investors direct exposure to the cryptocurrency.

In June, 21Shares, a lesser-known issuer, launched a Solana Exchange Traded Product (ETP) on the SIX exchange in Switzerland. 

VanEck currently has an application in front of the SEC to launch an ETF in the US that would invest directly in bitcoin and has also filed for a bitcoin strategy fund that would invest in bitcoin futures contracts. It revealed plans last month to bring to market a futures-based ether ETF as well, but quickly withdrew the request to the SEC.  

Matthew Sigel, VanEck’s head of digital assets research, told Blockworks last month that the proliferation of competing layer-1 smart contract platforms has come about amid a higher demand for transaction prices and throughput that are lower and faster than what the Ethereum network provides. 

There are about half a dozen layer-1 smart contract protocols with the track record, size and community engagement to perhaps someday rival Ethereum, he noted at the time, pointing specifically to Solana. 

“The idea that you could get 50,000 transactions per second, which would rival Nasdaq, opens up the potential to just securitize any number of existing assets, tokenize them and trade them in parallel using the Solana network,” Sigel explained.

Tushar Jain, a managing partner at Multicoin Capital, said during a panel at Blockworks’ recent Digital Asset Summit in New York City that Solana was one of his firm’s “big bets” in the DeFi space.

Solana is currently trading for $158, down 2% through the weekend and 11% on-week, according to CoinGecko, as the protocol struggles to regain the market’s confidence after technical issues put a halt to on-chain activity earlier this week. 

This story was updated on September 20, 2021, at 1:26 pm ET.

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  • Ben Strack is a Denver-based reporter covering macro and crypto-native funds, financial advisors, structured products, and the integration of digital assets and decentralized finance (DeFi) into traditional finance. 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. Contact Ben via email at [email protected]