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LearnCrypto 101

A beginner’s guide to Solana

    Beginner's Guide to Solana

    Key Takeaways

    1. Solana has seen rapid growth due to its high transaction speeds and low fees.
    2. NFT activity has exploded on Solana due to the blockchain making it easy and affordable for artists and creators to build new projects.
    3. With the massive amount of development happening across Solana, we can look forward to a large number of games being released in the future.

    What is Solana?

    Founded in 2017 by Anatoly Yakavenko, Solana is a decentralized, fast-growing layer-1 blockchain known for speed. Designed to offer a similar experience to Ethereum while offering a few key improvements, Solana offers near-instant transactions and incredibly-low fees (less than $0.01 per transaction).

    Solana's native token is SOL. It's used to transfer value and pay for transaction fees throughout the Solana ecosystem, so you'll always want to keep a little bit in your wallet. Anyone with SOL can stake their tokens easily within Phantom to earn more while helping to secure the network. You can unstake your tokens at any time, and you always retain custody of your funds.

    Due to its focus on efficiency, security, and support for smart contracts, Solana has attracted a large number of developers to build a wide range of applications on the platform. Because of this, Solana is home to thousands of powerful and user-friendly web3 apps ranging from payments, NFTs, Decentralized Finance (DeFi), and games.

    Let’s take a closer look at some of these exciting apps to help you get started in the Solana ecosystem.

    What can you do on Solana?

    Buy, sell, and trade NFTs

    Solana’s high speed and low fees make it a fantastic chain for NFT projects to innovate in new and exciting ways. Because of this, we’ve designed Phantom to offer a friendly user experience for all your NFT needs. You can safely manage your NFTs, seamlessly connect to marketplaces, and discover new projects all directly from your Phantom wallet.

    As of June 2022, there are over 50,000(!) NFT collections on Solana. The pace of development and scale of projects can be intimidating at first, but we’re here to help guide you through your NFT journey and make interacting with NFT projects safe, easy, and fun.

    If you’re new and looking to start using NFTs with Phantom, this is a great place to start.

    Explore the leading Solana NFT marketplaces

    Magic Eden

    Magic Eden is one of the top Solana marketplaces to explore. With its community-centric approach, it offers a rich set of features built directly for the NFT community where users can create, sell, and buy NFTs.

    Start by visiting their Popular Collections to see the current most sought after projects. To learn about upcoming projects, you can browse their Upcoming Drops calendar.

    A great place to discover new, high-quality NFT projects is Magic Eden’s Launchpad, their vetted creator minting platform with dedicated support. Collections on Launchpad are vetted by the Magic Eden team, and with only 3% of projects getting accepted, you can have peace of mind knowing that Launchpad NFTs have serious teams and development support behind them.

    Finally, for the gamers in the group, be sure to visit Magic Eden’s Games section. You can play a wide variety of games directly on Magic Eden, and buy, sell, and trade NFTs of in-game items from additional gaming partners.

    Phantom is proud to partner with Magic Eden to make it easy to list and manage NFTs on its marketplace directly from the Phantom wallet.


    If you're ready to get serious about trading, and maybe even become a pro crypto trader, Tensor is the marketplace for you. The trading platform boasts an edgy design that emphasizes its advanced features: real-time data, candlestick charts, and automated market making (AMM) pools for NFTs. Plus, to sweeten the deal, Tensor rewards your activity. Make trades. Place bids. Provide liquidity. Get rewards such as NFT airdrops and mystery boxes. The more active you are, the more you earn.

    Not a heavy trader? Toggle Tensor’s “pro” interface to its “Lite” one for a more simple, visual design. Either way, if you consider yourself a trader, Tensor might be the right option for you

    Browse some of our favorite Solana NFT collections

    Solana is home to some of the most innovative and unique projects in the NFT space. Here are a few to explore:

    Famous Fox Federation

    The team at Famous Foxes has built an unparalleled suite of utilities and tools for Solana's NFT community. From peer-to-peer swapping, raffles, and NFT messaging capabilities, they are pushing the boundaries of what an NFT collection can provide their community. To learn more, listen to Famous Foxes Federation Co-founder DraxxTS share his story about building the project on Episode 8 of The Zeitgeist Podcast.

    DraxxTS - Famous Foxes Federation Co-founder, Ep. 8

    Zeitgeist Episode 8

    DraxxTS - Famous Foxes Federation Co-founder

    Degenerate Ape Academy

    One of our favorite blue-chip Solana NFTs is Degenerate Ape Academy, which made history as the first major project to kick off the Solana NFT phenomenon. The team constantly updates their roadmap with new drops and activities for their community. To learn more about Degenerate Ape Academy, listen to Co-founder and product lead CrassKitty on Episode 10 of The Zeitgeist Podcast.

    CrassKitty - Degenerate Ape Academy Co-Founder

    Zeitgeist Episode 10

    CrassKitty - Degenerate Ape Academy Co-Founder

    Participate in DeFi

    Decentralized Finance (DeFi) is an exciting innovation that brings traditional financial services (e.g. purchases, sending money, borrowing, lending, trading, earning interest) to the blockchain without the need for a bank or 3rd party. The result is a faster, more efficient financial system that's available to anyone with an internet connection.

    Solana was built with DeFi in mind. Because of the blockchain’s ability to handle over 65,000 transactions per second (Visa supports 24,000 per second), Solana has attracted developers to create a range of powerful DeFi dApps that you can access right from your Phantom wallet.

    To get you started, Phantom brings you a fast and easy way to buy SOL, USDC, and USDT in-app. You can directly buy or transfer SOL using MoonPay or Coinbase accounts to your Phantom Wallet. Once you have SOL in your wallet, you can stake your SOL tokens directly from Phantom and earn more SOL in the process.

    Purchasing, swapping, and staking are three of the core mechanisms of the Solana blockchain and DeFi. Once you feel ready to graduate to more sophisticated applications, these are three powerful DeFi apps worth checking out:


    Orca is an easy, fast, and user-friendly decentralized exchange on the Solana blockchain.

    In addition to low-fee, near-instant token swaps using an automated market maker (AMM) model, you're able to participate in the protocol by supplying liquidity (depositing pairs of tokens) to earn yield on token pairs.

    Mango Markets

    Mango Markets is another powerful decentralized exchange that allows you to lend, borrow, swap, and trade cryptoassets through a powerful risk engine. You can earn passive interest on deposits and trade both spot and future trading pairs. It's a powerful protocol for the DeFi power user.


    Solend is a decentralized protocol for lending and borrowing on Solana. With Solend you can earn interest, borrow, leverage long, and short cryptoassets. If you’re looking to borrow crypto, or lend your assets and earn interest, Solend is a great place to start.

    Play the latest web3 games

    Solana’s fast transactions and low fees have also spawned a new generation of web3 games that offer digital ownership and financial rewards in addition to fun and entertainment. Think of your Phantom wallet as the entry point to the best of web3 gaming and the home for your epic loot.

    Games worth checking out

    Star Atlas

    Star Atlas is web3’s first giant strategy MMO on Solana. Fly ships and navigate the stars in a grand strategy game of space exploration, territorial conquest, political domination, and more.

    To learn more about Star Atlas, listen to our Zeitgeist Podcast episode with Founder and CEO Michael Wagner.

    Michael Wagner - Star Atlas founder and CEO

    The Zeitgeist Episode 9

    Michael Wagner - Star Atlas founder and CEO


    Genopets is one of the world's first free-to-play, move-to-earn NFT games that makes it fun and rewarding to live an active lifestyle. Built on Solana, Genopets turns your daily real-life activity into fun blockchain-based gameplay with crypto rewards.

    Mini Royale: Nations

    Mini Royale: Nations is a browser-based first-person shooter (FPS) set on top of a land strategy game. Players can earn mintable items through Battle Pass and Quests, join or create Clans to participate in Clan Wars, fuse weapons and characters for ultra rare skins, and more.


    Solana launched in 2017 and is already one of the top blockchains in terms of adoption, development, and user-friendly applications that realize the promise of crypto. As the list of applications continues to grow, we will continue to provide a safe, easy, and friendly wallet for navigating the exciting world of Solana.