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VanEck, a global investment management company, is facing a lawsuit filed by a blockchain company and former partner SolidX for its Bitcoin ETF. Less than two weeks ago, VanEck applied to the SEC for approval of its Bitcoin ETF.
In 2017, VanEck became the first Bitcoin Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) company registered under the Investment Company Act, and SolidX has been committed to bringing Bitcoin ETFs to the market since 2015. The two companies joined forces in June 2018, and SolidX said that its extensive experience in cryptocurrency complements VanEck’s extensive background in issuing financial products.
However, after withdrawing their most recently jointly applied Bitcoin ETF in September 2019, the two companies parted ways in August 2020. SolidX stated in the complaint that the breakup was a “malicious termination” of the agreement between the two parties.
On December 31, VanEck announced that it had submitted a new application for the Bitcoin ETF.
According to the lawsuit, VanEck’s filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) shows that the company “is secretly developing its own Bitcoin product even though VanEck has told the world that it has joined forces with SolidX.” SolidX claimed:
“It’s already bad to use SolidX products to compete with it. The registration statement submitted by VanEck would be called plagiarism in any other case: the structure of VanEck’s proposed Bitcoin ETF is essentially the same as that of SolidX seeking SEC approval, or almost identical.”
SolidX also claimed: “VanEck began to announce the launch of products that directly compete with SolidX within a few weeks after its termination of the agreement, and it is impossible for VanEck to start launching products that do not violate the interests of SolidX while it is still a business partner of SolidX [above product].”
In November last year, VanEck launched a physical-backed bitcoin exchange transaction note on the German exchange Xetra.
SolidX stated that VanEck’s “well-known” brand and “reputation” as an ETF issuer made SolidX decide to cooperate with the company, stating that VanEck “has almost no expertise in Bitcoin” and that it is due to SolidX’s expertise in crypto assets. Hire SolidX.