Starting Out with Phantom

Aleessa Ching
Feb 19, 2024

Phantom is a cryptocurrency wallet built on and for the Solana blockchain; it is often considered to be the Solana counterpart for Metamask. It allows users to easily and safely buy, send, receive, store, and swap tokens, while letting them collect NFTs that are on the Solana blockchain. 

A look at the website of Phantom wallet

What can a Phantom wallet do? 

Phantom boasts a couple of features: lightning-quick currency swaps, low fees, stake-to-earn in a few clicks, and easy connection to all the most commonly used Solana applications. 

Aside from this, Phantom can be connected to a hardware wallet or ledger to keep your funds further secured. Apple users also have the option to use biometric authentication like FaceID for convenience in accessing their wallets.

Phantom can be downloaded as an iOS or Android app, but can also work as a browser extension on Chrome, Brave, Firefox, and Edge.

Is Phantom safe to use? 

Phantom wallet has a couple of security features that help ease one's worries about keeping their money on the blockchain.

  1. No access to your funds
    For one, Phantom is a self-custodial wallet, meaning that Phantom itself does not have access to your funds or private keys. A private key is a set of numbers and letters that would grant access to your wallet. And on Phantom, these private keys are encrypted on your device by your password, keeping everyone besides yourself out of access.
    When creating a Phantom account, as like with any other cryptocurrency wallet, a user is provided a secret recovery phrase (or seed phrase). This phrase is your private key in a readable form, which usually ends up looking like a bunch of random words. Once given, this phrase should be stored in a secure location as it is the only way to recover your wallet. Anyone with your phrase would have access to your entire wallet. 
  2. Audited
    Next, Phantom is independently audited by Kudelski Security, which is a top trusted software auditing firm. The full report of the audit can be read here
  3. Privacy
    Phantom respects the privacy of their users by not keeping track of any personal information that could potentially identify the user, the user's account addresses, and even the user's asset balances.

Another step that Phantom takes to increase security is to have bug bounty programs. These programs incentivize white hat hackers, also known as "ethical security hackers," to try and find vulnerabilities in their code that may result in hacks or user fund losses. In exchange for their efforts, these hackers are rewarded up to $50,000 by the company. All these features work hand-in-hand in ensuring that your money and NFTs are as safe as possible in Phantom. 

However, users should also be aware that many scams and phishing links exist in the Solana ecosystem. Thus, keeping one's password and secret recovery phrase safe, being careful before clicking any links, and using a burner wallet for transactions are important extra steps one should also take to prevent the loss of funds. 

Is Phantom the only Solana wallet?

There are a lot of cryptocurrency wallets that support the Solana blockchain. More known competitors of Phantom are Slope, Solfare, Sollet, and Solong, but there are dozens more wallets within the ecosystem. 

At their cores, all these wallets have the same basic function: allowing people to make transactions on the blockchain while safely storing their funds. That being said, such competition for such a limited user base makes it difficult for each wallet to stand out. Yet, none of these other wallets have been able to obtain and maintain the popularity that Phantom has, which is attributed mainly to the latter's ease of use, especially for beginners. 

Wallets in the Solana ecosystem

Interested in creating your own Phantom wallet? 

Phantom has created an easy step-by-step guide on how to create a wallet either via browser extension or their mobile app. Find out how here

Don't forget to use a strong password and keep your secret recovery phrase safe!

You may also check out the official Phantom website for more help and details about their wallet:

Aleessa Ching
NFT Trader, Externals and Partnerships, Investment Analysis

Student during the day, NFT trader at night. Experienced in creating, maintaining, and negotiating partnership deals and sponsorships, while having a knack for the startup and venture capital scene.

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