Actively Managed ETF Serves as the First Clean Energy Crypto Mining Product in the United States
Seattle, WA – July 20, 2021 – 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.
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, 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. 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. (NASDAQ:BITF) 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.
Company Contact: Media Relations Contact:
David Khalif, Head of Operations Jay Morakis, CEO
Viridi Funds M Group Strategic Communications
Tel: 913-687-3550 Tel: 646-859-5951
The fund’s investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses must be considered carefully before investing. The prospectus contains this and other important information about the investment company, and it may be obtained by calling (215) 882-9983, or by visiting www.viridifunds.com. Read it carefully before investing.
Investments involve risks. Principal loss is possible. ETFs may trade at a premium or discount to their net asset value. Redemptions are limited and often brokerage commissions are charged on each trade which may reduce returns.
The Fund will not invest directly in cryptocurrencies however it invests in companies involved in the cryptocurrency industry such as mining and manufacturers which can be very volatile. There is no assurance that the cryptocurrency network or service providers will continue in existence or grow. Technology companies may have limited product lines, financial resources and could face intense competition and rapid product obsolescence. Cryptocurrency functionality relies on the Internet and a significant disruption of connectivity could impede functionality and the risk of fraud or cyber-attack which could have adverse effect on the Fund’s investments.
Cryptocurrencies are subject to supply and demand so it is unclear how it will be impacted by geopolitical events. Nevertheless, political, health or economic crises may motivate large-scale acquisitions or sales of cryptocurrency either globally or locally. Large movements in the price of cryptocurrencies could create volatility and negatively impact the value of the Fund.
Cryptocurrencies exchanges are new and largely unregulated without any central authority or backing by any government or banks. Cryptocurrency is not legal tender and may experience very high volatility or be more exposed to fraud, glitches or stop operating.
Cryptocurrencies currently face an uncertain regulatory landscape and are rapidly evolving in not only the United States but also in many foreign jurisdictions. The adoption of laws and regulations that affect the industry could ultimately have a negative impact or impede the growth of the companies the fund invests in.
Investments in foreign securities and depositary receipts are subject to special risks including the risk of a foreign jurisdiction imposing restrictions on the ability to repatriate or transfer currency or other assets; political, regulatory risks; and foreign market and trading risks. Depositary receipts represent shares of foreign based corporations and may be less liquid than the underlying shares in their primary trading market.
The Fund may invest in companies that have recently completed an IPO (initial public offering), are derived from a SPAC (Special Purpose Acquisition Company) or result from a Reverse Merger. These companies may be unseasoned and lack a trading history and track record. IPOs and stocks derived from SPACS or Reverse Mergers are thus often subject to extreme price volatility and speculative trading.
The fund invests in micro-, small-, and mid-capitalization sized companies which could have less liquidity and lower-trading volumes which tend to make their market price fall more in response to selling pressures and may have limited markets, product lines, or financial resources and lack management experience.
The Fund’s crypto mining investments will be screened with clean energy criteria. Given the high energy usage of the crypto mining industry, the Sub-Adviser will evaluate crypto mining companies by focusing on their actions that will reduce the negative environmental impacts of mining. The Sub-Adviser will also consider purchased carbon offsets and other actions promoting environmental sustainability. There can be no assurance that this strategy will be successful for the Fund.
The Fund is non-diversified, which means that it may invest more of its assets in the securities of a single or smaller number of issuers than if it were a diversified fund. The Fund was recently organized with limited operating history and track record on which to base an investment decision.
The Funds are distributed by Quasar Distributors, LLC. The Sub-Adviser (Viridi Funds) provides clean energy screening.
The RIGZ ETF is distributed by Quasar Distributors, LLC
RIGZ holdings consist of crypto mining companies (Bitfarms, Hut 8 Mining, Riot Blockchain, CleanSpark, HIVE Blockchain Technologies, and Marathon Digital Holdings), as well as semiconductor companies (Samsung Electronics Co, Nvidia Corporation, Advanced Micro Devices, and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co).
NOT FDIC INSURED | MAY LOSE VALUE | NOT BANK GUARANTEED