With the approval of Ether (ETH) spot exchange-traded funds (ETFs), the crypto community is buzzing with speculation about which digital asset might be next. Experts have varied opinions on the likely candidates, with names like Solana, Dogecoin, XRP, and Litecoin emerging as frontrunners.

Joe McCann, founder, CEO, and CIO of Asymmetric, believes Solana is the most likely candidate. “I think Solana is probably going to be next,” McCann said on the latest episode of Bits + Bips. He noted that despite some regulatory uncertainties, Solana has garnered significant interest from both the crypto community and traditional finance sectors. Many investors see Solana as a promising alternative, especially for those who missed out on the Ethereum boom.

However, not everyone agrees. 

Even as he concedes that SOL would see the “most demand,” James Seyffart, research analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence, argues that Dogecoin or Litecoin might be more likely to get the nod. 

Noting that the SEC had only ever hinted that it viewed ETH as a security, he tweeted, “Those lawsuits against COIN and Kraken and others flat out say ‘Solana is a security’ lol. Which could very easily make this a very rocky road.” (SOL was named as a security by the SEC in its lawsuits against Coinbase, Kraken, and Binance.US.)

Seyffart emphasized the importance of a regulated futures market, which is a key consideration for the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) when approving ETFs. “I don’t think Solana is coming anytime soon,” he said. “Dogecoin or Litecoin, possibly even earlier.” He explained that the SEC looks for a liquid and regulated futures market, a criterion that Dogecoin and Litecoin might meet before Solana.

The role of futures markets is crucial in this discussion. The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) regulates the futures markets for Bitcoin and Ethereum, which helped pave the way for their ETFs. Until a similar market exists for Solana, its chances of approval remain uncertain. 

Alex Kruger, founder of Asgard, suggested that Solana and Dogecoin both have potential, depending on the development of their futures contracts, though acknowledging he doesn’t “have a strong view.”

The legal status of XRP also plays a role. Seyffart mentioned that the outcome of the ongoing lawsuit against XRP could influence its chances. If XRP is not classified as a security, it might pave the way for its ETF, provided there is a regulated market for it.