Viridi Funds (“Viridi”), a registered investment advisor and emerging fund manager providing environmentally focused crypto investment products, today announced the launch of the Viridi Cleaner Energy Crypto-Mining & Semiconductor ETF (NYSE: RIGZ, “RIGZ” or “the Fund”).
The Viridi Cleaner Energy Crypto-Mining & Semiconductor ETF is an actively managed exchange-traded fund that is focused on investments within the cryptocurrency mining and mining infrastructure industries. RIGZ was created by Viridi to align profit with purpose – a growing number of investors are keen to gain exposure to the cryptocurrency sector through regulated investment vehicles, but also want to see active leadership and commitment to environmental sustainability. Bitcoin mining is a sector that is particularly well suited to such an investment product as, according to recent figures, over 50% of North American bitcoin mining is done using renewable energy sources, which is a trend that Viridi hopes to encourage through products like RIGZ.1
The Fund will be comprised of companies associated with the entire spectrum of cryptocurrency mining and infrastructure. The companies range from producers of semiconductors and specialized computer chips, to manufacturers of cryptocurrency mining hardware, to mining companies who secure long-term energy offtake agreements and operate this hardware to validate and process digital asset transactions (“miners”). While the Fund will not invest directly in cryptocurrencies, RIGZ will likely have indirect exposure to Bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies as many publicly listed miners have these assets on their balance sheets.
Wes Fulford, Chief Executive Officer of Viridi Funds, stated, “Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies continue to grow in importance, and we are witnessing a new wave of institutional support for this emerging asset class. We launched RIGZ to provide investors with an ETF that attempts to align purpose and profit by investing in the infrastructure that underpins the entire ecosystem with sustainability in mind. Miners provide an essential service to cryptocurrency networks, and leading operators are able to generate Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies at a fraction of prevailing market prices. Having built mining facilities, I have learned first-hand what it takes to run a successful business in this industry. By leveraging the vast operational and capital markets experience of the Viridi team, including my own as the former CEO of Bitfarms Ltd., we believe we can identify attractive mispriced opportunities through our active management strategy, and provide investors with superior returns.
“The rationale for owning a mining and infrastructure company is much the same as a senior gold producer – leveraged returns as compared to the underlying commodity,” continued Fulford. “We believe that based on recent developments within the Chinese mining sector, North American miners that have access to sustainable low-cost power, large fleets of new-generation rigs, and access to capital are well positioned to generate higher returns during the months and years ahead. We are excited to be launching RIGZ at such a pivotal point within the evolution of this market sector, and to be prioritizing investment into sustainable crypto mining practices through Viridi’s clean energy focus.”
Viridi Funds, sub-adviser to the RIGZ ETF, is backed by some of the most reputable groups and brightest minds within the cryptocurrency sector, including CoinShares, Alameda Ventures, Luxor Technology, Fundamental Labs, and Mechanism Capital.
Meltem Demirors, Chief Strategy Officer of the publicly listed digital asset investment firm CoinShares, who led the round,2 added “During these times of political and economic uncertainty, asset managers and financial services firms have a responsibility to deploy capital in a manner that aligns client values and preferences with portfolio construction. CoinShares was the first asset manager to research and publish its findings regarding bitcoin’s energy use as early as 2018, and found the bitcoin mining industry utilizes over 70% renewable energy and is one of the most sustainable industries on the planet.3 Viridi Funds can help investors separate fact from fiction, and establish more formal methodologies to quantify and qualify sustainable investing in the cryptocurrency sector. Our team at CoinShares looks forward to collaborating with Viridi Funds to bring new thematic products to market in the coming years.”
In addition to launching the Fund, Viridi will publish research on the growing cryptocurrency mining and semiconductor space, shining light on a space considered to be opaque, which will provide clear, concise, and actionable insights to the investment community. The team is dedicated to building financial products that help investors gain exposure to the nascent cryptocurrency sector while also embracing and supporting companies that pursue a sustainable approach to growth.
About Viridi Funds
Viridi Funds is a registered investment adviser, that couples its experience in crypto mining operations with capital markets to invest in the crypto mining space, with a focus on clean energy. Viridi aims to give investors exposure to a fast-growing and dynamic sector. For more information on Viridi Funds, visit https://viridifunds.com.
Viridi Core Team
Wes Fulford, Chief Executive Officer, Co-Founder and Portfolio Manager
Mr. Fulford is the former CEO and Director of Bitfarms Ltd. where he grew the Company into one of North America’s largest cryptocurrency mining operations and powered by +99% renewable energy. Prior to joining Bitfarms, Mr. Fulford spent 15 years in investment banking and asset management, primarily based in Toronto, Canada. Most recently, Mr. Fulford led the Fintech and Financial Institutions investment banking practice for one of Canada’s largest banks, Desjardins Group. During his career as an investment banker, Mr. Fulford was directly involved in financing and mergers & acquisition transactions valued at over $7.2 billion. Mr. Fulford is a CFA Charterholder, a member of the Young Presidents’ Organization, and has been a regular presenter at leading North American / global blockchain, cryptocurrency and crypto mining conferences.
Ethan Vera – Chief Financial Officer, Co-Founder and Chief Compliance Officer
Ethan Vera started in asset management, at the Royal Bank of Canada. Mr. Vera went on to join Goldman Sachs as an investment banker, covering the blockchain, fintech, energy and semiconductor industries. Mr. Vera is also co-founder of Luxor Technology, a company focused on hashrate-based products.
David Khalif – Co-Founder and Head of Operations
David Khalif graduated with a double major in finance and business analytics from the University of Kansas. After completing his degree, Mr. Khalif worked as a financial analyst completing a two-year finance rotation program at Microsoft. The structure of the program included working with four different finance teams for six months each. David has completed a rotation in Cloud Finance, Investor Relations, Sales Finance, and in Microsoft’s real estate team.