Phantom Wallet Review: Top Solana Wallet Pros and Cons
"The crypto wallet that’ll take you places."
That's what Phantom Wallet proclaims on its website. And a quick glance makes it clear the company wants it to be your go-to choice for interacting with networks on three blockchains.
While decentralized finance (DeFi) allows crypto users to transact without an intermediary, you still need a crypto wallet to transact with and store your digital assets, and there's no shortage of hardware wallets, desktop wallets or mobile wallets thanks to wide crypto adoption.
In this Phantom Wallet review, we will look at its security, usability, supported blockchains and other features it rolled out recently. Let's take a deep dive!
Phantom Wallet Review: Summary
Initially renowned as a Solana-based digital asset wallet, Phantom Wallet has since branched out to include Ethereum and Polygon networks as well. At its core, Phantom Wallet aims to be a hassle-free way to make make managing your private keys for DeFi projects easy.
It is a decentralized Web3 self-custodial browser extension and wallet that works with some of the most famous browsers such as Firefox, Chrome, Brave and Edge. It can be accessed through your iOS or Android mobile device as well. You can use the wallet to collect NFTs, send and receive cryptocurrencies and tokens, and swap tokens.
If you are interested in Guy's take on the Phantom Wallet, feel free to check out his beginner's guide below:
The Key Features of Phantom Wallet are:
- Solana staking: Users who hold SOL tokens can participate in the Solana network and earn rewards by delegating their tokens to stake with one of the hundreds of validators who run, maintain and secure the blockchain. A smaller validator with a higher APY and lower commission is best for the Solana ecosystem and your returns, according to the company. Phantom Wallet recommends validators.app or StakeView.app to find a ranked list of the best options.
- Token swap: Phantom Wallet allows you to conduct in-app swaps for Ethereum, Polygon and Solana networks. It charges a flat 0.85% fee for searching and offering the best pricing available for most swaps. This fee is on top of network fees.
- NFTs and collectables storage: Non-fungible tokens may not be hot right now, but Phantom Wallet makes storing them easy. A feature lets you group similar NFTs together, saving you precious time of having to sift through hundreds of them to find what you're looking for. You can hide and remove unwanted spam, discover new collections, and manage listings all from within your wallet. Users also have access to metadata like floor price, last sale price, total return and total unique holders.
- Multichain support: Phantom Wallet may have started with support for just the Solana ecosystem, but it has since added Ethereum and Polygon to the list of supported networks. You can import your existing MetaMask, Solana or EVM wallets to Phantom. You can view all your tokens and NFTs in one place and connect to apps automatically.
- Ledger integration: If you have a Ledger hardware wallet, you can use it for Solana, Ethereum and Polygon through Phantom Wallet. However, if you're looking to integrate Ledger with Phantom, it can only be achieved via Chrome, Brave or Microsoft Edge; Firefox isn't currently supported. Phantom mobile apps currently don't support Ledger hardware wallets either, but the company plans to add this feature soon.
- Non-custodial: Phantom Wallet puts you in the driver's seat, which means users can control their assets completely without any intrusion from a third party. In a non-custodial wallet, users have full control of their wallet. On the flip side, if you lose your seed phrase, the account cannot be recovered.
Phantom Wallet Overview
|Type of wallet||Software (browser extension support for Chrome, Brave, Firefox and Edge)|
|Supported networks||Solana, Ethereum and Polygon|
|Cost||Free to download|
|Staking||Yes, Solana tokens only|
|Transaction or balance limits||No|
What is Phantom Wallet?
Phantom is a non-custodial multichain Web3 wallet with support for Solana, Ethereum and Polygon networks. With self-custody, users can use DApps without any third-party interference. This also means users will be responsible for their transactions and security. Phantom works as a browser extension, similar to MetaMask. For those looking to use it on the go, the company also has apps for Android and iOS devices.
Phantom Wallet started in 2021 with 40,000 active beta testers supporting the Solana ecosystem. In the same year, it raised $9 million to fuel its growth plans and introduced an in-app token swapper. A year later, it raised $109 million in a Series B funding round at a $1.2 billion valuation, achieving the coveted unicorn tag. Today, the company boasts over three million users, and it has launched a host of features since its nascent days.
Support for Ethereum and Polygon network arguably marked its biggest leap and broadened the scope of assets and decentralized applications users can access and interact with through the app. With Phantom, you can:
- Manage your crypto and NFTs
- Stake Solana
- Swap tokens
- Access DeFi applications
Phantom Wallet aims to provide users with a secure and user-friendly way to manage their digital assets, interact with decentralized applications (DApps), and participate in DeFi ecosystem. Phantom allows users to store their private keys, giving them full control over their digital assets. With integrated MoonPay and Coinbase Pay, users can purchase or transfer ETH, MATIC and SOL directly from their wallet.
You can also connect your Ledger Nano hardware wallet with Phantom. However, this feature is only available on Chrome, Brave and Microsoft Edge web browsers. Phantom's iOS and Android mobile apps do not currently support this integration, but the company plans to bring this feature to its mobile apps soon.
It is important to note that last year, some 8,000 Solana hot wallets were hacked for an estimated loss of about $8 million. Phantom, then a fast-growing Solana wallet, said at the time that it wasn't a “Phantom-specific issue” but the hack did affect Phantom wallet users.
Phantom Wallet Review: Top Features
Token Swaps in the Phantom Wallet
Phantom launched its in-app token swapper in June 2021 and recorded over $1 billion in swap volume by October of that year. As it currently stands, in-app swaps are available for EVM chains. Phantom has a built-in swapper system, which aggregates liquidity from multiple decentralized exchanges or DEXes.
Phantom charges a flat 0.85% fee on token swaps in addition to network fees. It also uses the default setting of slippage limited to 0.5%. As is the case with swaps, it's important that you have enough of the network's native token for transaction costs (ETH tokens on Ethereum, Matic on Polygon and SOL on Solana). An insufficient native token balance will cause a swap fail to occur. You can learn more about network fees and transaction costs in our Guide to Network Fees.
Crypto Staking in Phantom Wallet
Cryptocurrency staking allows holders of certain cryptocurrencies to participate in the network's operations and earn rewards in return for locking up their coins as collateral. Phantom currently only supports Solana tokens for this purpose. The company recommends checking validators.app or StakeView.app to find a ranked list of the best options based on current network conditions.
APY for Solana staking can currently fetch APY of as high as 9%, according to StakeView. Phantom recommends choosing a smaller validator with a higher APY and lower commission. You can check your Solana staking rewards in the Phantom app. These rewards cannot be withdrawn unless you unstake your SOL. Instead, rewards are compounded and you earn more SOL.
If at any point you'd like to unstake, you must first ensure you have enough SOL for gas fees (0.05 SOL is enough for most transactions). Otherwise, your transaction will fail to go through.
Phantom Wallet NFT Support
Phantom lets you connect to several NFT marketplaces. You can sell your NFTs and immediately get funds using the "Instant Sell" feature.
Here's how that works: Phantom aggregates offers from the top marketplaces to get you the best possible price. It's then served to you directly within your NFT. If you have an offer, you'll see an "Instant Sell" banner with a "sell now” price listed, which is your NFT's highest available bid.
You'll have access to information such as the marketplace's name, estimated fees, what your profit/loss looks like, and other helpful information to help you make an informed decision. The company currently gathers bids from Solana and EVM marketplaces like OpenSea, Blur, LooksRare, X2Y2, Magic Eden and Tensor.
Phantom Hardware Wallet Integration
If you're looking to use Phantom to manage Solana and SPL tokens on your Ledger hardware wallet, you'll first have to enable "blind signing." However, if you have already installed the Solana, Ethereum and Polygon apps onto your Ledger, then you can skip this step.
Once you've connected your Ledger wallet with Phantom, you can send/deposit funds using the Ledger accounts you've connected in the networks you selected to interact with Solana, Ethereum and Polygon dApps using your Ledger device.
At this time, the Ledger hardware wallet integration isn't available for the Firefox web browser or the Phantom mobile apps.
Phantom Sign In With Solana
If you connect your wallet to any major app, you'll likely be met with a popup message that, to an average human, is just a bunch of random numbers and letters. But that mumbo jumbo is meant to authenticate your identity. When you connect your wallet to an app, most wallets share your address without verifying that the private keys are in your control.
Sign In With Solana lets apps authenticate their users with just a Solana address. Solana developers can make use of the new sign-in method on all extension platforms, with mobile support coming soon. This new method prompts users to connect and sign a standardized authentication message in a single click.
As part of the launch, Phantom worked with Solana Labs to create an open standard for the Solana ecosystem. The newly launched sign-in method comes with full support for the Solana Wallet Standard's SIWS feature.
Phantom Solana-Only Mode
Don't care about Phantom's multichain support? You can turn your Phantom Wallet into a Solana-focused experience.
Once you switch to the Solana-only mode, you can manage your Solana accounts, balances, tokens and NFTs without seeing other chains, network icons or EVM addresses. If you'd like to return to Phantom Multichain, you can do so by turning off the Solana-only toggle in the menu. Switching between the two modes doesn't disrupt account balances or assets.
Is Phantom Wallet Safe?
Phantom Wallet Security
The bedrock of any crypto wallet is its emphasis on security. Cryptocurrencies operate on the principles of trustless transactions and immutable ledgers, which mandate rigorous security protocols.
Phantom Wallet's code has been independently audited by Kudelski Security. In addition, its scam detection flags malicious transactions instantly. There's also a bounty program that pays white hat hackers up to $50,000 if you find a vulnerability that may cause users to lose their money.
Here are a few other things to consider from a security perspective:
- Non-custodial wallet: A self-custody wallet like Phantom provides users with full control and ownership over their private keys and digital assets. This means you'll have sole responsibility over transactions, including sending and receiving your digital assets. And because users control their private keys, they can maintain a higher level of privacy compared to custodial wallets, where third-party services might have access to transaction history and other user data.
- Transaction previews: Transaction previews act as a firewall that identifies malicious transactions and warns you before they're approved by you. They protect users against attacks such as phishing, dApp-level DNS hijacking and software supply chain attacks, among many others. It also provides users with real-time warnings and human-readable transaction context.
- Open-source block list: The company has an open-source and community-maintained block list of malicious domains that it blocks users from mistakenly connecting to. Once Phantom finds out about a malicious token or NFT, it adds the contract address and domain to the block list. This hides the NFT from the wallet and creates a warning if the user tries to connect to the site. This block list is updated every day and currently houses over 2,000 domains.
- Burn NFT: This feature is available across all devices, and it allows for the manual removal of any unwanted spam NFTs. Once an NFT is burned, it results in the permanent removal of the digital collectible from your Phantom Wallet. In return, you're rewarded with Solana tokens. This is because when you burn an NFT, you are reclaiming some of the SOL that a scammer spent on sending you an NFT in the first place.
How To Install the Phantom Browser Extension
To ensure you download the official Phantom extension and not a malicious app, it's best to download Phantom Wallet directly from the company's website.
Once you have downloaded the extension, all that's left is following the steps in your respective extension store to add the Phantom wallet extension to your browser. After installing, you should see Phantom open in a new tab.
In order for Phantom to work, you'll have to grant it permission to "read and change all your data on all websites." The company explains that this permission is needed so dApps can engage with the blockchain network and access public wallet data such as your NFTs, transaction history or token balances.
If you have privacy concerns, Phantom recommends that you create a separate browser profile dedicated to your Phantom Wallet. This will allow you to explore Web3 while keeping your data access strictly controlled.
Phantom Wallet on Mobile
As noted, Phantom Wallet is also available for Android and iOS mobile devices to give you access to crypto, NFTs and apps while on the go. Again, it's best to get the links for your mobile phone through the company's website so you don't fall victim to a malicious app.
Setting up via a cell phone works just like it does on a web browser. One difference is that you'll have to enable biometric security using a fingerprint or facial recognition to ensure you're the only one with access to the wallet. Once that's done, you'll be presented with your secret recovery phrase, also known as a seed phrase.
If you have an existing wallet, you can simply enter your recovery phrase and restore your wallet on Phantom.
How to Use Phantom Wallet
As far as crypto wallets go, Phantom Wallet is pretty standard. As you're aware by now, you can use Phantom on certain web browsers and your mobile phone.
Once you've downloaded the extension for your browser, you can either choose to create a new wallet or restore an existing wallet to Phantom. If you're importing a wallet to Phantom, simply enter your seed phrase to restore your wallets.
If you create a new wallet, you'll be asked to create a password. Once you've chosen a strong password, select "continue." You'll then be presented with your confidential recovery phrase. It's extremely important that you write this down and store it in a safe location We cover this step in great detail in our Crypto Safety Guide.
Phantom has an integration with 1Password for the safe storage of recovery phrases. Next, you'll find the keyboard shortcuts to access the Phantom app. Select "continue" and you're all set.
Setting up Phantom Wallet on your mobile phone works in the same manner.
Phantom vs. MetaMask Comparison
|Number of users||Over 3 million||Over 30 million|
|Blockchain supported||Solana, Ethereum and Polygon||Ethereum, Arbitrum, Optimism, Binance Smart Chain, Polygon, and Avalanche|
|Type of wallet||Software, non-custodial||Software, non-custodial|
|Hardware wallet integration||Yes||Yes|
As you can see, Phantom Wallet and MetaMask have more similarities than differences. A recent CER audit listed MetaMask as the #1 most secure software wallet, which is further emphasized by the fact that MetaMask is the most widely used wallet in the world.
If your main focus is on the Ethereum ecosystem, or any of the chains supported by MetaMask, then that will be the likely choice for most users. However, if your main interest is in the Solana Ecosystem, then Phantom is a good choice.
Phantom Wallet Review: Closing Thoughts
Phantom Wallet offers a comprehensive and user-friendly solution for managing digital assets, interacting with decentralized applications and participating in the DeFi ecosystem. With its emphasis on security, integration with various browsers, multichain support and a high frequency of updates, Phantom Wallet aims to provide users with a convenient way to control their private keys and engage with the world of cryptocurrencies.
The ability to stake Solana tokens, conduct token swaps, manage NFTs and collectables, and integrate with Ledger hardware wallets enhances the versatility of the platform. One notable feature is Phantom's security focus. The wallet's code has undergone independent audits and it employs scam detection mechanisms to protect users from malicious transactions.
The growth Phantom Wallet has witnessed from its initial Solana-focused concept to a multichain wallet reflects its adaptability and commitment to innovation in the ever-changing landscape of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes. Phantom Wallet may only be two years old, but it has great features. While the wallet has multichain support, you can switch to a Solana-only mode, if that's your thing. In addition, you can stake SOL with Phantom.
Phantom Wallet offers several benefits that make it an attractive choice for users. It offers multi-chain support, has a user-friendly interface and the company puts emphasis on security. In addition, you can stake SOL, conduct token swaps, and integrate your Ledger hardware wallet.
In Coin Bureau's ranking of best Solana wallets, Phantom ranked No. 1. Solflare and ELLIPAL routed out the top three.
As a non custodial wallet, you have full control over your Phantom wallet. The company's code has also been independently audited by Kudelski Security. Phantom also doesn't track or store any personally identifiable information. If you ever run into a problem, you can reach out to Phantom's human customer support team.
Phantom Wallet currently supports Solana, Ethereum and Polygon assets.
Phantom started out as a Solana-only wallet, but it has since added support for Ethereum and Polygon.
Disclaimer: These are the writer’s opinions and should not be considered investment advice. Readers should do their own research.