Viridi Funds to launch Cleaner Energy Crypto Mining and Semiconductor ETF in the US
Viridi Funds, a registered investment adviser and emerging fund manager, is launching a publicly traded clean energy bitcoin mining ETF, Viridi Cleaner Energy Crypto-Mining & Semiconductor ETF, on the NYSE with the ticker RIGZ.
The firm writes that the actively managed ETF will be the first clean energy crypto mining product in the US. Viridi Funds is backed by lead investor CoinShares, in addition to Alameda Ventures (investment arm and Alameda Research and core partner of FTX) and Fundamental Labs.
Wes Fulford, CEO of Viridi Funds, explains that the new ETF offers many similarities to that of a traditional gold miners’ ETF. However, it provides investors with access to the cryptocurrency mining industry as it’s comprised of active investments in companies associated with the entire spectrum of cryptocurrency mining. The firms range from producers of computer chips, to manufacturers of computer equipment, to direct investments in market participants creating cryptocurrency themselves.
The new ETF will not itself invest in cryptocurrencies, but firms that have digital assets on their books. The company says its overriding philosophy will be to invest in companies with robust and sustainable energy usage policies.
Fulford has a background in investment banking and asset management in Canada, with his most recent experience in fintech and subsequently crypto markets and blockchain, having steered, as CEO, crypto mining infrastructure firm Bitfarms to its listing in Israel and subsequently in Canada.
“We are leveraging our team’s deep experience in the crypto markets,” Fulford says. “Our value proposition is quite a bit different from a crypto ETF since our product focuses on the infrastructure that underpins this asset class. Cryptocurrency does not function without allocating computing power to the network. The miners are providing an essential service to the digital asset landscape and crypto cannot function without them.”
Fulford has been pitching the crypto story to the institutional investor base for over five years and believes that there has been something of a sea change.
“We are at a new frontier in terms of institutional adoption,” he says. “Institutions are open to it, especially as they look at the hyper-inflation concerns on the horizon for all G20 economies. Institutional buying of cryptocurrencies has definitely ramped in a material way over the last eight months so we will have some uptake from the institutions. We’re also hoping for a large retail component as well.”