Skip to content

VanEck Applies for Solana ETF & Sony Announces Crypto Exchange 

VanEck officially applies for a spot Solana ETF in the US 

Solana might be the next cab off the rank in the spot ETF sweepstakes after the US financial managers took a free swing at a potential SOL ETF. 

The ETF madness is showing no signs of slowing down. The narrative – carrying as many twists and turns as a fantasy novel – began back in January this year, when the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced the approval of spot Bitcoin funds in the US. Since then, the floodgates have opened. Hong Kong added Bitcoin and Ether ETFs to its repertoire, and the SEC made a stunning turnaround by greenlighting Ethereum funds when all hope of approval seemed lost. Similarly, on home shores, the ASX welcomed its first Bitcoin spot ETF, with VanEck’s VBTC fund beginning trading this week on the Australia’s biggest stock exchange. This year has truly been remarkable for crypto ETFs. 

Now, with the dust somewhat settled, we’re at the next round of our favourite guessing game: which cryptocurrency will be next to get an ETF? 

The answer could well be Solana.  

VanEck, financial giants with nearly US $90b assets under management, officially filed an application for a spot Solana ETF with the SEC.  

The institution becomes the first US company to throw its hat into the Solana ring, with several others expected to follow suit in the coming months.  

Naturally, given the SEC’s careful nature when it comes to crypto, it’s unlikely a Solana ETF could even sniff approval before 2025. Some are a little skeptical of VanEck’s intentions, implying that the company is hoping to edge out competitors by being first-to-market. Regardless, VanEck’s optimistic submission suggests that TradFi is paying very close attention to the crypto market and that the ETF craze is far from over. 

VanEck’s Head of Digital Assets, Matthew Sigel, heaped praise on Solana via social media: 

Operating as a single global state machine without sharding or layer 2s, the Solana blockchain’s unique combination of scalability, speed and low costs may offer a better user experience for many use cases.” 

Home of PlayStation, Sony, to unveil its very own crypto exchange 

The Japanese media company plans to revive WhaleFin, giving the platform a fresh coat of paint among other, long-term goals. 

Over the years, Sony has become more than a vessel for gamers to engage with titles like The Last of Us and God of War. The multimedia goliath has its fingers in many pies – audio electronics, music licensing and even financial services.  

But Sony is taking one of its biggest leaps yet, officially becoming a must-know name in the crypto community. The team is planning to launch its very own crypto exchange. 

Now, to be clear, it isn’t exactly a native Sony-based platform. The “new” crypto exchange will be a rebranding of the pre-existing platform WhaleFin, a product of Amber Group which Sony acquired in 2023.  

However, Sony doesn’t plan to just stick its signature logo and name on the exchange and call it a day. The company intends to make sweeping reforms to WhaleFin, including significant upgrades to its interface, according to a press release from Sony: 

“In addition to redesigning the UI screen, the renewal of WhaleFin will include the release of a new app to provide an easier-to-use service. After the renewal, we also plan to further expand the supported currencies and functions”. 

Sony is teaming up with Web3 developers StarTale Labs, the company behind the Astar Network. Together they plan to help mould the exchange, with the duo already in cahoots thanks to the ongoing development of a Sony-owned public blockchain. Although the decentralised network is not yet live, according to the CEO of StarTale development has entered the “execution phase”. 

The Japanese conglomerate isn’t a stranger to the Web3 sphere. Just last year Sony became a major player in the NFT/GameFi space, filing a patent that would ensure digital gaming collectibles could be transferred across platforms – for example, from PC to PS4 to PS5. 

At this rate, it’s only a matter of time before we’ll be able to buy NFTs directly from our PS6 home screens. 

Learn & Earn: Earn $5 in ASTR by learning about the Astar Network 

USDC/EURC First Stablecoins to be Compliant in Europe  

Circle, the team behind USDC, is the first stablecoin issuer to become licensed under the EU’s new Markets in Crypto-Assets (MiCA) regulations. USDT issuer, Tether, is yet to be licensed. 

The EU’s regulatory watchdog, the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) and its Markets in Crypto Assets (MiCA) regulations , were formed over a year ago and operates with the intention of sustainability and transparency in the industry. Satisfying their standards has become an important indicator of project integrity and development within the EU. And now, Circle’s USDC (and EURC) have become the very first stablecoins to officially comply with ESMA’s list of guidelines. 

The regulations have been a topic of hot discussion in the industry, given how stringent they are in matters of potential market manipulation and sustainability. 

However, other commentators are impressed with the thoroughness of ESMA’s ruleset, believing it could be the catalyst for governments to truly embrace crypto adoption. The difficulty of abiding by these regulations only makes Circle’s successful compliance all the more impressive, putting serious weight behind USDC’s branding as a reputable stablecoin. 

Circle managed to achieve registration as an Electronic Money Institution (EMI) from France’s banking regulator the ACPR.  

Reaching these regulatory milestones came with a few positive changes – notably, Circle Mint is now available to select business customers within the EU, allowing the independent creation of USDC and EURC.  

“Our adherence to MiCA, which represents one of the most comprehensive crypto regulatory regimes in the world, is a huge milestone in bringing digital currency into mainstream scale and acceptance”. – Jeremy Allaire, CEO at Circle.

The popular Layer 1 blockchain briefly broke past the USD $150 mark after unveiling exciting new technological advancements.  

From a technological standpoint, Solana has made some impressive strides this past fortnight. The most notable for the everyday user is Blockchain Links – or Blinks for short. These mini-programs can transfer blockchain actions (executing a transaction, for example) into an easily-digestible form. Let’s say, a QR code or a link you can post via Twitter.  

This makes it incredibly easy to engage with the Solana blockchain for the everyday man or woman. As long as a wallet is connected to your device, Blinks allow users to send and receive money with the click of a button.  

In a more technical development, Solana has also introduced zero-knowledge (ZK) compression to its developer toolkit. ZK compression is admittedly a little complicated and geared predominantly toward developers. 

As simple as possible? ZK compression is improving Solana’s scalability by up to (or above) 1000x, while significantly reducing the cost to deploy a smart contract on the network. This adds even more appeal to the protocol as a viable hub for dApp developers.  

Written by