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VanEck’s Matthew Sigel confirms Solana ETF is a bet on Trump victory

VanEck Head of Digital Assets Research Matthew Sigel confirmed speculation that the company’s Solana spot ETF proposal bets on Donald Trump winning the US presidency.

The deadline for VanEck’s application is set for March 2025, which would put it well beyond the aftermath of the US Presidential elections in November.

Sigel simply responded with a simple:

“Can confirm.”

The analysts said approval odds for each ETF are “near zero” if a Democrat victory leaves Joe Biden in office and “better … but not guaranteed” if Trump wins the election. Trump would likely appoint a new SEC chair to replace the agency’s current chair, Gary Gensler.

Surveillance sharing

Another issue seen as a hurdle to potential Solana ETF is the lack of a futures market on CME, which experts believe was a key factor in spot Bitcoin and Ethereum ETFs gaining the regulatory green light.

Grayscale notably argued in its case against the SEC that the surveillance sharing agreements in place for the CME Bitcoin futures were replicable for its proposed spot ETF and sufficient to detect and prevent fraudulent activities.

The firm claimed that the SEC failed to provide a reasonable explanation for treating spot Bitcoin ETFs differently from futures ETFs in terms of surveillance-sharing agreements.

The case essentially revolved around whether the SEC’s demand for a surveillance sharing agreement specifically for a spot Bitcoin ETF was justified and whether the SEC applied its standards consistently across different types of Bitcoin-related ETFs.

Since the SEC has now approved spot ETFs for Bitcoin and Ethereum, Sigel believes VanEck will not need to demonstrate a CME futures market around Solana to obtain its ETF. He previously stated:

“Surveillance sharing agreements with spot crypto exchanges can obviate need for CME futures.”

Bloomberg agrees SSA is enough

Bloomberg analysts agreed that an SSA “should be enough” but concluded VanEck’s approach will “only work if there’s new leadership at the SEC and/or a literal act of Congress.”

They noted that past ETF filings, particularly BlackRock’s June 2023 spot Bitcoin ETF application, included surveillance-sharing agreements (SSAs) with Coinbase, leading other firms to introduce similar clauses. However, the analysts added that the agreements ultimately proved unnecessary.

The analysts also said that the SEC’s ongoing securities lawsuits against multiple exchanges, including Coinbase and Kraken, also complicate SSAs between exchanges and ETF issuers.

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