As one of the top-performing projects in 2021 that’s seeing continuous adoption, the Solana Phantom wallet is a multi-functional application offering storage for multiple types of cryptographic assets for one of the fastest blockchains in the world. Users can also swap tokens with other assets for less than a cent while simultaneously earning a passive income. Moreover, by providing a non-custodial decentralized service, users are assured of cryptographic security for the storage of their assets.
In our “What is Phantom Wallet” article, we will dive deep into the fundamentals and features within the project. Plus, we’ll look at how fast the Solana Phantom wallet is becoming the go-to wallet application for the Solana blockchain. Also, we’ll explore the various security protocols and precautions the project uses to protect its users’ funds.
For those new to crypto, be sure to check out our Crypto for Beginners course, which teaches you how to invest and secure your wealth safely. Also, save our “Crypto Terminology” article for a guide on the popular vocabulary used throughout the industry. Plus, learn about the pseudonymous developer(s) of Bitcoin; see our “Who is Satoshi Nakamoto?” article for later!
Exploring Phantom Wallet
Launched in 2021, the Phantom wallet is a multi-utility and multi-device crypto wallet for the Solana blockchain with over one million users. Targeting newcomers to the crypto industry with an intuitive user experience (UX), the Phantom wallet presents a welcoming onboarding solution for decentralized finance (DeFi) adoption on the Solana blockchain. As such, Phantom offers users the typical features one expects with modern DeFi wallets (e.g., decentralization, cryptographic security, fast transaction confirmation). Plus, the Phantom wallet offers users in-app token swaps, a fiat-on ramp, and a place for storing non-fungible tokens (NFTs). Furthermore, the project offers these features with sub-cent fees on both desktop and mobile devices.
The Solana Phantom wallet is renowned for its multi-pronged approach to security, both to users’ assets and data. Accordingly, Phantom integrates several novel security protocols facilitating a non-custodial service. Also, users have the option to employ additional security with seamless compatibility with the Ledger hardware wallet (from Ledger SAS). As a result, the Phantom wallet is quickly becoming the go-to wallet for users interacting with the Solana blockchain.
As one of the fastest blockchains globally, Solana can process more than 65,000 transactions per second (TPS). Its speed, combined with minute transaction cost and a developer-friendly approach to development, has allowed Solana to comfortably sit as a top ten cryptocurrency by market cap for over a year.
The Solana project introduces various novel blockchain architecture and technologies to the industry. Namely, its ability to timestamp transactions at a granular level thanks to its “proof of history” protocol. Dubbed as “a clock before consensus”, the Solana blockchain presents a solution to the industry’s “blockchain trilemma”. Accordingly, Solana can offer sub-second speed and minuscule transaction fees without compromising on decentralization.
Solana’s native SOL asset holders receive governing rights over the protocol’s development. Moreover, Solana operates with a global set of validator nodes responsible for managing, processing, and securing the network. Further, some network participants operate in “clusters” to maintain the ledger’s integrity alongside serving client transactions. For example, “devnet” clusters and “testnet” clusters.
As one of the fastest-growing ecosystems in the blockchain industry, the Solana asset (SOL) was the top-performing crypto asset in 2021, exceeding a 13,000% increase in value.
How to Use Phantom Wallet
The Phantom wallet is available as a mobile download application and a browser extension tool for various desktop web browsers. The protocol operates by allowing users to generate private keys before Phantom manages them on behalf of its users. During this, Phantom presents a beautifully simple and intuitive graphical user interface (GUI) to mask the technicalities of signing transactions and storing funds.
Moreover, thanks to a platform update in late 2021, the Solana Phantom wallet app is available to navigate in over ten different languages! Simply head to the settings icon to adjust the language display. Users can choose from English, French, Spanish, Chinese (Simplified), Japanese, Korean, Russian, Hindi, Indonesian, Thai, or Vietnamese!
Below, we’ll briefly cover the different features and activities available within the Solana Phantom wallet.
Choose a Web Browser
The first thing to consider is which web browser you would like to use the Solana Phantom wallet with. The project offers its users a range of options to allow them to transform their familiar browser into a Web3-enabled wallet. Further, the wallet is compatible with both cryptocurrencies and non-fungible tokens (NFTs).
To download the browser extension for the desktop wallet, users can simply head to “Phantom.app” and scroll to the bottom to select the relevant icon. At the time of writing, users can use Chrome, Edge, Brave, and Firefox. Simply click on the icon, which will redirect you to a confirmation page to install the wallet. Once installed, the wallet will automatically launch. At this stage, users are prompted to create a password. Then, users must hover over a textbox to view the verifiably random and secure seed phrase that’s generated, which can be used to access the wallet anywhere. This must be written down offline and kept in a secure place. Following this, Phantom presents a three-part walkthrough of accessing the wallet with command shortcuts.
Now, users are set up and ready to use the wallet! Also, if users choose to download the mobile app, they can import their seed phrase from the desktop wallet to manage funds from different devices. Conversely, if users already have the mobile app, they can import the seed phrase generated from there and manage the same funds from a desktop.
The next step is to deposit some of Solana’s native asset, SOL. Users will need at least a little bit of SOL in their Phantom wallet to process transactions. There are two main ways to achieve this. First, users can deposit SOL from an alternative wallet by selecting their Phantom wallet address and pasting it into the respective wallet. It is crucial to ensure that the transaction operates over the Solana network; otherwise, funds could be lost.
An arguably safer way (with less chance of human error) of getting SOL is via the MoonPay protocol within the app. MoonPay allows users to purchase SOL directly with their debit or credit card or bank transfer. Moreover, the protocol is available in more than 160 countries worldwide. All users need to do is select the “deposit” button within the wallet to access the MoonPay fiat-onramp.
For users with idle SOL assets, the Solana Phantom wallet offers users the opportunity to earn a passive income with its staking facilities. Furthermore, by staking with Phantom, users can contribute to validators and, therefore, network security. Staking SOL with the Solana Phantom wallet is achievable in four simple steps.
First, open the Phantom wallet and select the current SOL balance in the wallet. Then, select the “Start earning SOL” button. At this point, a prompt will appear for users to decide which validator to stake with. Also, users will need to enter the amount they wish to stake. The project itself is neutral and does not offer any advice or suggestions on which validators to choose. However, Phantom offers users a link to “validators.app”, a site that presents validator node activity and status. Once selected, select “Stake”, and the Phantom wallet will instantly begin staking your assets securely. In addition to supporting the network, users will receive transaction fees as rewards. Also, the Solana Phantom wallet allows users to stake with extra security precautions by using the hardware wallets from Ledger.
Another popular feature of the Solana Phantom wallet is the in-app token swap ability. Furthermore, with network fees costing less than $0.01 per transaction, users can make hundreds of transactions under one USD. The Phantom wallet aims to make its in-wallet “swapper” feature the go-to exchange for assets on Solana. It plans to achieve this through maintaining its minute costs, sub-second transaction finality, plus transparent decentralization.
In addition, the project regularly aims to add additional tokens to the range available within the swapper feature. Moreover, further developments include aggregating liquidity from a variety of crypto exchanges on Solana. Currently, the Phantom wallet swapper uses Solana’s most popular exchange with the deepest liquidity, Raydium.
Create NFT Collections
As the most profitable form of cryptographic asset in 2021, non-fungible tokens (NFTs) hit mainstream media headlines multiple times throughout the year. Accordingly, no on-trend DeFi wallet would want to miss out on NFT compatibility, which is precisely what Phantom offers. However, the project takes NFT storage to the next level.
The Solana Phantom wallet features an algorithm that automatically groups NFTs together in collections. As such, users can organize their non-fungible assets by categories. Users can either use the categories the project suggests or design their own. Plus, Phantom has worked extensively on the UX side, particularly loading times, to offer a top-end management service.
Browse the Solana Ecosystem
The Phantom wallet makes it easy for anyone to browse and interact with DeFi applications on the Solana blockchain using mobile and desktop computers. Users can select the far-right button at the bottom (the “internet” icon) within the mobile app to bring up a search page. At this stage, it’s the same as using any other browser with Google as the default search engine.
However, if users should head to a Solana dApp, such as Raydium, then they can connect their Phantom wallet to the dApp with just two simple clicks. Similarly, using a desktop computer, users can connect with Solana dApps by selecting the Phantom icon (usually toward the top right of a browser window). Alternatively, the wallet automatically prompts users to confirm after selecting “connect wallet” on Solana applications.
Phantom Wallet Security
What is the Phantom wallet doing to keep its users’ funds secure? Well, lots of things! First, the project offers a self-custodial service to users; therefore, it never has ownership or access to users’ private keys. However, Phantom offers management of an encrypted version of users’ keys to create and sign transactions. The project doesn’t store or track any personal information from users. Also, Phantom now offers mobile users biometric authentication to gain access to the wallet or sign transactions using a fingerprint or facial recognition.
The Phantom wallet offers full transparency as an open-source project. Furthermore, it has been audited by the world-leading software auditing firm, Kudelski Security. The report is publicly available on Phantom’s website to view. In addition, Phantom offers an attractive bug bounty for white hat hackers who discover any vulnerabilities in the projects’ code. If hackers discover a vulnerability within the code that could result in the loss of users’ funds, they can be rewarded up to $50,000.
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Exploring Solana Phantom Wallet – Summary
So, what is a Phantom wallet? The protocol is the go-to, all-in-one decentralized finance (DeFi) wallet solution for interacting with the Solana blockchain. With Solana being one of the most active and fastest-growing ecosystems in the crypto space, Phantom offers an easy and intuitive onboarding channel for crypto newbies. Accordingly, users can download the open-source Phantom wallet on a desktop, smartphone, or both for ultimate fund management convenience. Within the wallet, users can purchase Solana’s native asset, SOL, or earn SOL by staking assets and contributing to the network.
Moreover, users can swap tokens within the app with near-instant confirmation time and sub-cent fees. Also, users can use the in-app browser to seamlessly connect and interact with other Solana dApps. Now, next time you hear someone ask, “what is Phantom wallet?” you can hopefully offer a comprehensive answer!