Asset manager VanEck has filed for a 'Digital Asset ETF' with the SEC, paving the way for institutional investors to be able to get exposure to shares in companies that gain most of their value from cryptocurrencies.

This ETF will track the performance of the MVIS® Global Digital Assets Equity Index, which tracks the performance of the digital asset industry. This includes companies that operate crypto exchanges, payment gateways, mining operations and those that hold significant amounts of cryptocurrency on their balance sheet, such as MicroStrategy.

To be eligible, companies must generate more than 50% of their revenue from cryptocurrency projects, or ones that, when developed, have the potential to do so.

Several companies in the crypto space are looking at going public, including Coinbase and Bakkt. It's possible that the fund could include these shares in the futures.

VanEck's Bitcoin ETF woes

Just last month, VanEck refiled for a Bitcoin ETF with the SEC, although it has come under fire from its former partner SolidX, which is accusing it of plagiarism.

According to the complaint, SolidX and VanEck "worked together to market shares of the Trust" to qualified institutional buyers as a precursor to the SEC approval of trust shares that could be publicly traded in an exchange-traded fund.

"Mere weeks after its bad faith termination of the agreements, VanEck began announcing products that directly compete … products it could not have begun to issue without working against SolidX's interests while still its business partner," the complaint says.

SolidX has been working to bring a Bitcoin ETF to market since 2015, while VanEck was the first company to file for a Bitcoin ETF registered under the Investment Company Act in 2017.