On September 29, global asset manager VanEck took to X (formerly Twitter) to announce a groundbreaking initiative. In a departure from traditional finance practices, VanEck pledged to donate a substantial portion of the profits—10%—generated by its upcoming Ether futures exchange-traded fund (ETF) to Ethereum core developers.
This commitment is set to extend over a decade. Also, it highlights VanEck’s dedication to supporting the very community that underpins the crypto protocol.
Beneficiary: The Protocol Guild
The Protocol Guild, comprising over 150 dedicated Ethereum core developers, emerges as the primary beneficiary of VanEck’s philanthropic move. VanEck contends that as asset managers stand to benefit from the contributions of Ethereum’s core developers, it is only fair to give back to the community that plays a pivotal role in building and maintaining the crypto protocol.
In a statement, VanEck encouraged other asset managers and ETF issuers to follow suit. They further urged them to consider contributing a portion of their proceeds to the Ethereum development community.
This appeal aligns with a growing trend within the crypto-native space, where entities like Lido Finance, Uniswap, Arbitrum, Optimism, ENS Domains, MolochDAO, and Nouns DAO have already demonstrated their support for the Ethereum network.
Community Impact: Donations and Distribution
A public dashboard tracking contributions to the Guild’s mainnet reveals that 4,846 contributions have cumulatively generated over $12 million in donations. These funds are then distributed among Guild members based on a weighted ratio determined by their contribution periods. The initiative showcases a transparent and collaborative approach to supporting the Ethereum development community.
Ethereum Improvement Proposal: Proto-Danksharding (EIP-4844)
Simultaneously, Ethereum’s core developers are actively working on Ethereum Improvement Proposal EIP-4844, also known as Proto-Danksharding. This proposed upgrade introduces a novel transaction type to Ethereum, promising to reduce transaction fees for layer-2 protocols. VanEck’s commitment aligns with these ongoing efforts to enhance the functionality and scalability of the Ethereum network.
VanEck’s Ethereum Strategy ETF
The disclosure of its upcoming Ethereum Strategy ETF on September 28 further solidifies its commitment to the Ethereum ecosystem. The ETF, set to invest in Ether futures contracts, will be actively managed by Greg Krenzer, the head of active trading at VanEck. The fund is expected to be listed on the Chicago Board Options Exchange in the coming days.
Industry Landscape: Ether Futures and ETFs
VanEck is not alone in its foray into Ether futures. Other traditional investment firms like Valkyrie and Bitwise also set to offer exposure to Ether futures. Meanwhile, the anticipation for a spot Ether ETF continues to grow. This is with Invesco Galaxy, ARK 21Shares, and VanEck awaiting regulatory approval.
Also, the recent decision by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to delay approval for a spot Ether product until December adds an element of suspense to the evolving landscape of Ether investments.