Phantom is a user-friendly, digital web 3 wallet for the Solana blockchain. Phantom makes it safe & easy for you to store, send, receive, stake and swap tokens. In this Phantom Wallet review, we’ll take a look at the secure wallet browser extension delving into its features, what blockchains are supported, how to swap and stake to earn a yield.
What is the Phantom Wallet?
The Phantom wallet is the non-custodial wallet for the Solana blockchain. The wallet is remarkably similar to its web 3 wallet alternative Metamask and is currently available as a browser extension that is free to download for Chrome, Firefox, Edge and Brave Browser.
With the Phantom wallet, you can manage your crypto and NFTs, stake, swap tokens and access DeFi applications on the Solana blockchain. The team is also working on supporting Ethereum, with a beta version coming soon. In my opinion, I see Phantom wallet being a serious challenger to the popular Metamask wallet.
Phantom is a non-custodial web 3 wallet, where the user holds their private keys. Again similarly to Metamask, you can also connect Phantom to a Ledger hardware wallet which we’ll take a look at in this Phantom Wallet Review.
What is Solana?
Solana is a highly scalable and (what they claim to be) the fastest blockchain in the world which is known for offering a vast array of DeFi solutions and for its successful SOL token.
The platform was founded in 2017 by Anatoly Yakovenko who worked for Qualcomm before founding Solana. The team has designed Solana to be able to process over 50,000 transactions per second, competing with the likes of Visa or Paypal. They do this by using something called “Proof of History”.
Solana also has support for smart contracts, allowing developers to create DApps on the network. Meaning that DEXes, lending platforms and NFT marketplaces can all be run on Solana.
What is SOL Token?
The $SOL token is Solana’s native token. SOL has several use cases, plus you can stake your SOL tokens to earn rewards. The current circulating supply of SOL is 26 million with a maximum supply of SOL caps at 489 million SOL.
Where Can I Buy SOL Tokens?
Phantom Wallet Fees
For any transactions on the Solana network, you’ll need to pay transaction costs or gas fees, which in this case is paid in SOL. This is similar to how you need to pay ETH for transactions on Ethereum or BNB for the Binance Smart Chain. However, instead, you’ll need to pay SOL for Solana.
Therefore you’ll need to always have enough Solana in your Phantom wallet to pay for any transaction fees when sending, swapping, staking, etc.
Is Phantom Wallet Safe?
The Phantom Wallet is non-custodial, meaning that users hold their own private keys. Therefore a lot of the Phantom Wallet security lies in the users’ hands and not a 3rd party.
When you create a new wallet you’ll be prompted to write down your secret recovery phrase which is a collection of 12 words. These words are what would be required should you need to restore your wallet. And are therefore a really important part of creating a wallet. If you lose your recovery phrase, there is no way to recover your wallet. Plus if someone gets hold of these words they will have access to your crypto assets, so it’s important you write them down correctly, in the correct order and store them somewhere safe and away from any potential harm.
Phantom Wallet & Ledger
The Phantom wallet supports connection to the popular hardware wallet Ledger, meaning that your tokens are always stored safely within the security of your device. At the time of writing this Phantom Wallet Review, this is only available with Ledger hardware devices, as Trezor is yet to support Solana.
To connect your Ledger hardware wallet, you will first need to install the app on your device via Ledger Live. Then pair and connect your wallet by creating an account and address.
How to Connect Phantom to Ledger?
- Install the Solana App on your Ledger (make sure you´re running the latest version)
- Go to “Settings” on your Ledger device and set “Allow Blind Sign” to “Yes“
- Connect and unlock your Ledger device
- Open the Phantom Wallet
- Clicking the burger/menu option in the top left of the wallet
- Choose “Add/Connect Wallet”
- Select “Connect hardware wallet“
- When prompted to select a USB device, choose your Ledger device and “Connect“.
- Select the address that you want to use with Phantom and your Ledger device will then be connected.
You can connect your Ledger with Chrome, Brave and Edge. However, there is no Ledger support with Firefox.
Problems Connecting Ledger & Phantom
I personally had some issues when connecting my Ledger Nano X to Phantom. After speaking with Phantom, I found this isn’t an issue with the wallet itself, instead, it’s the way that Ledger works with Solana.
A few tips that I’d recommend; is making sure that your Ledger isn’t connected to Metamask or Terra Station wallets or anything like that and closing all apps that may be using or connected to your Ledger.
Also, on the Solana app on your Ledger device, go to Settings and Set “Allow Blind Sign” to “Yes”
Swapping Tokens with the Phantom Wallet
With the Phantom Wallet, you can token swap from one token to another on Solana using an inbuilt DEX. At the time of writing this Phantom Wallet review, you can swap between Solana, USDT, USDC, Serum and Raydium.
Phantom’s inbuilt DEX makes swapping simple without having to move your funds, or connect to any additional DApps. You’ll just need enough SOL to pay for the transactions costs, which compared to Ethereum, are very low.
Staking Solana with Phantom
Phantom allows users to stake Solana within the web app where you can earn a yield on your crypto asset. When staking your Solana you simply choose a validator from the list and it’s worth doing your research into each validator before committing to staking with them.
If you’re unsure which validator to choose when staking Solana, I recommend checking out Seb Montgomery staking tutorial.
Phantom vs Metamask
The Phantom wallet is set to rival the likes of Metamask, especially once they integrate with the Ethereum network. But what are the main differences? The below table shows a comparison between the features of both wallets.
|Access to private keys||Yes||Yes|
|Hardware Wallet Support||Yes||Yes|
|Solana Network Support||Yes||No|
|Ethereum Network Support||Coming soon||Yes|
|Mobile App||In Development||Yes|
Phantom Wallet Support
Due to the number of scams that were facilitated through the Phantom Discord, they, unfortunately, shut down the channel. You can however follow their Phantom Twitter account or If you need help go to https://help.phantom.app/ and look through their help articles. If you can’t find the answer to your question then you can submit a support ticket and they will respond as soon as they can.
When creating this Phantom Wallet review and tutorial we contacted their support via Discord and they were extremely helpful.
Before creating a Phantom wallet tutorial, I had never really interacted with the Solana blockchain, even though I had been holding the SOL token since the beginning of 2021. I had some issues initially connecting Phantom to Ledger, but once I overcame these I thoroughly enjoyed using the wallet. I even decided to unstake my SOL and RAY tokens from the FTX exchange and staked them using Phantom for a better APY.
If you’re new to crypto, Phantom will be a little daunting to begin with, but if you have used MetaMask previously you will have no issues. If Phantom continues to keep innovating and when they release their Ethereum version, I’m sure the adoption will be huge for the platform.