Solana Wallets Phantom, Solflare Eye Mobile for Growth

Phantom is launching a wallet app; Solflare’s is already live. Both projects see mobile as critical to expanding crypto’s reach.

AccessTimeIconNov 9, 2021 at 11:28 a.m. UTC
Updated May 11, 2023 at 4:06 p.m. UTC

Solana’s growth strategy is going mobile.

At least two wallet projects are moving to get their crypto apps in people’s pockets: Fund management protocol Solrise Finance launched its Solflare mobile app last week and Phantom, a popular browser-based wallet, is working on an iPhone and Android offering of its own.

The move highlights crypto developers’ increasing belief that mobile is essential to crypto mass adoption. Just as traditional financial services – from cashing checks to swiping cards – have migrated to phones, crypto, the thinking goes, must readily do the same.

That, at least, is Solana’s party line. In the past week, top brass at Solana Labs, which builds on the proof-of-stake ecosystem, waxed bullish on mobile wallet integrations. Head of Growth Matty Tay said Phantom’s yet-to-launch mobile wallet could “open the floodgates” to millions of new users.

The project’s browser-linked wallet has more than 1 million weekly users, according to project statistics. Meanwhile, Solflare, the new wallet from Solrise protocol, said it already services staking for $16 billion in SOL.

The announcements were pegged to Solana’s Breakpoint conference in Lisbon. Slope Finance launched its mobile-friendly web wallet last month.

SOL phones

Mobile wallets are not completely new for Solana, one of the low-cost, high-speed blockchain networks competing with Ethereum on decentralized finance (DeFi) and non-fungible tokens (NFT). A number of crypto exchanges already let users send, stake and store SOL from their phones.

Both newcomer apps differ by being “non-custodial” wallets that leave users in direct control of their coins (similar to a slew of Ethereum-based wallets on the market). They also provide staking and token swapping services that many exchange mobile products lack.

But their biggest contribution to Solana’s mobile growth could come from a different corner of crypto: NFTs. Solana has been flooded for months by fresh NFT projects looking to mint on a low-cost chain; a flood of new users have followed.

“A really big pain point is NFT drops,” Phantom CEO Brandon Millman told CoinDesk in an interview. “They happen at all times of day and so if someone’s at work they can’t participate if they don’t have their laptop. That’s actually been one of the primary drivers for mobile.”

Solrise co-founder Filip Dragoslavic shared a similar perspective.

“More and more crypto users are becoming mobile-first every year, and we believe that making the Solana experience easy for these users is key to continuing its explosive growth,” he said in a statement.


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Danny Nelson

Danny is CoinDesk's Managing Editor for Data & Tokens. He owns BTC, ETH and SOL.

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