By Jeff Benson
Phantom, the popular cryptocurrency wallet and browser extension that allows Solana users to transact with DeFi protocols, says it is preparing to launch a mobile version of its wallet.
Chris Kalani, chief product officer and co-founder of Phantom, told Decrypt, the company is planning a “private beta around the holidays” with a full launch in January.
Phantom is Solana’s answer to MetaMask, the Ethereum wallet built to interact with decentralized finance (DeFi) and other applications on the network. Via DeFi protocols, crypto owners can take out loans, earn interest on their digital assets, and trade them with other users, all without relying on a financial intermediary.
But to take advantage of the growing DeFi ecosystem on Solana, which now controls over $15 billion in assets, you need a crypto wallet that can integrate with the network’s nascent decentralized exchanges, lending protocols, and liquidity pools.
Though there are other usable wallets, Phantom is perhaps the most popular. It allows traders to send, receive, or swap tokens within the Solana ecosystem. It also has options for buying, selling, and even creating NFTs, the digital deeds of ownership to digital and/or real collectibles.
The project recently touted reaching 1.2 million weekly active users. (Kalani assured Decrypt those were “not accounts or installs” but actual users.) Thus far, however, they’ve been confined to desktop, which is less than ideal for DeFi traders on the go. The mobile app, should it arrive on time, will give Solana DeFi traders a much needed resource in a market with limited options. Most other wallets, for instance, don’t support staking—dedicating SOL to the network so it can become more secure (and you can get rewarded in crypto).
“This means they can mint NFTs, stake tokens, and more while not being tied to their computers, which carries considerable weight considering how fast the Solana ecosystem currently moves,” said Phantom CEO and co-founder Brandon Millman in a press release.
More DeFi Analytics Are Coming to Solana via Serum Markets
Solana is indeed moving fast. The Solana coin recently overtook Tether to become the fourth-largest crypto asset by market capitalization. Phantom is growing along with it, according to the firm’s estimates. In July, it secured a $9 million Series A round led by Andreessen Horowitz. At the time, it claimed just 70,000 users.
In addition to Solana, Phantom is branching out to other blockchains, with a beta Ethereum wallet in the works. That’s all further down the road. Said Kalani, “Phantom is laser-focused on Solana.”