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Phantom Wallet: Everything You Need To Know

8 mins
Updated by Ryan Glenn
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The Solana blockchain is growing in popularity. As a result, having a safe and reliable wallet is crucial for boosting adoption and onboarding new users. This role is fulfilled by the Phantom Wallet. Phantom Wallet lets users swap directly from its interface, stake SOL, and hold NFTs. Here’s everything you need to know about it, in this Phantom Wallet review.

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The rise of Solana

Solana ETF

In late 2017, Raj Gokal and Anatoly Yakovenko created the Solana blockchain. Their project aims to eliminate the scalability issues that most blockchain networks faced at the time. Yakovenko published a whitepaper describing a new timekeeping system for distributed systems called Proof-of-History (PoH)

The Solana ecosystem was built by a core team of developers consisting of ex-engineers from Qualcomm, Intel, and Apple. The network’s founders have also established Solana Labs to help advance the ecosystem. In March 2020, the Solana ecosystem launched its Mainnet Beta.

Solana is highly scalable and well-known for its extensive range of DeFi applications. It is designed to process more than 50,000 transactions per second and compete with PayPal or Visa. 

Since Solana was built to compete with Ethereum and other smart contracts networks, it allows developers to create DApps, decentralized exchanges (DEXs), and NFT marketplaces. The top DApps on Solana are Jupiter Exchange, Raydrium, and MomoAI. Solana’s native cryptocurrency is SOL, which is used to power the entire Solana ecosystem. SOL pays for network fees and supports crypto staking.

SOL price: TradingView

Solana (SOL) saw outstanding growth in 2021. It started the year at only $1.84 and reached an all-time high of $260 by November, translating to a 14,000% price increase. The project’s many partnerships and network launches contributed to the price growth. In 2024, Solana also hosted a number of trending meme coins and airdrops. Most importantly, each major blockchain network requires a safe and easy-to-use cryptocurrency wallet. In Solana’s case, that is the Phantom Wallet.

Need a reliable hardware wallet for SOL? Get the NGRAVE wallet today!

What is Phantom Wallet?

Phantom Wallet

Phantom Wallet is a non-custodial web3 wallet, the most popular cryptocurrency wallet for the Solana blockchain. Additionally, the Phantom Wallet mirrors the MetaMask wallet for the Ethereum blockchain. 

Web3 aims to combine the decentralized nature of web1 (where people and businesses own their websites) with the modern functionality of web2. Similar to MetaMask, the Phantom Wallet is a browser-based crypto wallet. When interacting with a Solana application, you can connect your Phantom Wallet by simply logging in with the wallet.

Phantom aims to enable web3, allowing users to freely transfer crypto assets between their Solana wallets and the Solana DApps. For instance, gamers can use the Phantom Wallet to play blockchain games and claim their in-game tokens. Then, using the same wallet, they can connect to decentralized exchanges, such as Raydium, to exchange those tokens for fiat money or SOL.

The Phantom Wallet currently supports the following currencies: USDT, USDC, Raydium (RAY), SRM (SRM), and every utility token launched with Solana’s DApps. If you’ve used MetaMask before, the Phantom Wallet will feel very familiar. The interface is easy to use and simple to navigate. Here are some of the Phantom Wallet features that most users will likely enjoy using:

  • Phantom’s wallet built-in exchange
  • Non-fungible token (NFT) compatible
  • Crypto staking capabilities
  • Can connect to a hardware wallet (Ledger)
  • Web3 support

Other features that may soon be implemented in the Phantom Wallet are:

  • Ethereum and ERC-20 tokens support
  • More markets on the Phantom Swap feature
  • Multi-chain support

Phantom’s built-in exchange

The Phantom Wallet includes a built-in decentralized exchange. It allows users to swap Solana-based coin instantly from within their wallets. The swap interface is similar to the one on the MetaMask wallet, and it displays the swap rate, slippage tolerance, and estimated fee when making swaps. This wallet aims to improve the DEX experience by fixing UX and scalability issues as soon as they emerge.

Phantom Wallet is NFT-compatible 

Phantom Wallet supports NFT collectibles from the Solana blockchain. Since NFTs have become such a massive industry, many investors want to expand their portfolios on blockchains other than Ethereum. The wallet has a feature that automatically groups similar NFTs to make it easier to access. This will save you from having to go through hundreds of NFTs trying to find what you are looking for. It is important to note that the Phantom Wallet only supports Solana NFTs.

Crypto staking capabilities

Investors can stake Solana (SOL) crypto and receive Phantom Wallet rewards. Similar to other cryptocurrencies that can be staked, the Solana staking rewards depend on the chosen validators from the available ones. On August 6, 2021, Phantom officially announced Solana staking using the Phantom Wallet’s in-app staking feature. This method does not support staking other Solana-based coins from different networks. However, you can use third-party apps to stake these other coins.

Hardware wallet (Ledger) support

Nicolas Bacca, Ledger, hardware wallet, co-founder

Phantom Wallet allows you to connect to Ledger, the popular hardware wallet. This means that your SOL will always be safe on your hardware device. This feature is currently only available for Ledger hardware devices. To use Ledger with your Phantom Wallet, you will need to install Ledger live on your device. Then, you will be able to connect your Ledger hardware wallet. You will need to create an address and account to pair your wallet.

Don’t wait — get a Ledger wallet to connect to you Phantom wallet today!

Web3 support

Web3 represents the decentralized internet. It combines the power of blockchain technology and the internet to allow decentralized applications (DApps). As the Solana ecosystem expands, internet users will find thousands of apps with which to interact. We’ve talked before about the top Solana projects that have massive potential.

Phantom Wallet pros and cons

Here are some of the advantages and disadvantages of using the Phantom Wallet. 

Pros

  • The wallet is user-friendly and is available on multiple browsers (Chrome, Brave, Firefox, and Edge)
  • The defi wallet features a built-in swap
  • Supports a hardware wallet (Ledger) for increased security
  • It is a non-custodial wallet
  • Supports NFTs

Cons

  • Phantom Wallet is dedicated to the Solana ecosystem and doesn’t support other networks
  • Limited to the Solana blockchain

Safety of Phantom Wallet

The Phantom Wallet is a secure non-custodial browser wallet, meaning that users hold their own private keys. To give an example of how important this is, some wallets were the victims of a Solana wallet hack. In this exploit, about 8,000 wallets were compromised, and $8 million worth of assets were drained. The affected wallets were Slope, Phantom, and Trust wallets.

However, the problem originated from the Slope wallets. The Slope wallets saved seed phrases in plaintext on their centralized Sentry server; the problem is, when you save your password on any app or account, it is not saved in plaintext but ciphertext for safety. Wallets that imported Solana originated addresses and addresses used at one point in the Slope wallet were affected.

Some Phantom Wallet users imported Slope originated addresses and were exploited. This is an example of how personal responsibility can affect even the safest wallets.

Phantom Wallet vs. Metamask

It is fair to say that Phantom crypto wallet is the Solana equivalent of Metamask. Therefore, it is not outside the realm of reason to compare the two.

To begin, Metamask supports EVM based blockchains and ERC-20, ERC-721, and ERC-1155 in a limited capacity. On the other hand, Phantom supports Solana, Ethereum, Bitcoin, and Polygon. To put it simply, Metamask supports a lot of Ethereum-based blockchains and tokens, while Solana supports SPL tokens and a limited number of other blockchains.

Both wallets are available as browser extensions or mobile wallets. Both extensions and mobile apps allows you to connect to DApps. The mobile apps also feature a browser as well. You can also purchase crypto in the apps from third-party providers.

Metamask has been around since 2016. Phatnom was created in 2021. As a result, the former has had more time to develop its services. Lastly, Metamask is open-source and Phantom is not.

FeaturesPhantomMetamask
Founded20212016
BlockhainsSolana, Ethereum, Polygon, BitcoinEVM-compatible (e.g. Arbitrum, Optimism, Polygon, etc.)
TokensSPL, ERC-20, BRC-20ERC-20, ERC-721, ERC-1155
BrowsersChrome, Firefox, Edge, BraveChrome, Firefox, Safari, Brave, Edge, and Opera
Open-sourceNoYes
CustodyNon-custodialNon-custodial

How to install and use Phantom Wallet

The Phantom Wallet download is extremely simple. The app can be downloaded as a web extension or a mobile app. You only have to install the plugin, create a new wallet, or import an existing one using the seed phrase.

1. Navigate to the Phantom website: Phantom has a mobile app and browser extension. Go to the download tab and select a download method on the following page.

phantom wallet step 1

2. Create a wallet: You can either import an existing wallet or create a brand new wallet. For our demonstration, we will “Create a new wallet.”

phantom wallet 2

3. Create a strong password: It is best practice to choose a strong password that is more than ten characters with symbols, upper and lowercase letters, and numbers. You will have to agree to the terms of service before you can continue.

[hantom wallet step 3

4. Record recovery phrase: Write down your secret recovery phrase. This is a required step before you are allowed to move on.

step 4

5. Get started: You have officially created your Phantom wallet. Explore your newly created account to become more familiar with the Phantom wallet.

Is Phantom Wallet the MetaMask of Solana?

Phantom Wallet acts as the MetaMask of the Solana ecosystem, making it the go-to choice for interacting with Solana’s expanding platform. As Solana continues to develop and launch new decentralized applications, you’ll need a wallet like Phantom for seamless interaction. Despite being relatively new, Phantom Wallet already supports holding, swapping, and staking SOL non-custodial, with more features expected to be added over time.

Frequently asked questions

Top crypto projects in the US | June 2024

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Iulia Vasile
Iulia Vasile is a seasoned professional in the cryptocurrency and blockchain industry, working full-time in the field since 2017. With a background in computer engineering, she has the unique ability to write about complicated topics, including DeFi, NFTs, trading, and AI, in a way that is easy to understand. Iulia learned multiple programming languages while completing her Software Engineering degree in Bucharest at Politehnica University. Iulia brings her expertise and personal...
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