Onboarding to Solana

Introduction
With the recently concluded Solana Hackathon 2021 announcing its winners, one can expect a plethora of projects to be launched on the ecosystem for the highly anticipated “Solana Summer”. Many projects choose to build on Solana since Ethereum continues to price out retail users due to its high gas fees and congested network. Ethereum scaling solutions are at its infancy stage and require more iterations to be fine tuned. Users on Solana can therefore enjoy unique features such as parallel smart contracts runtime which allows Solana to to be more efficient by making transactions run concurrently on the same state blockchains.

Solana’s breakthrough innovation in it’s Proof of History consensus mechanism ensures a high-performance blockchain that can support up to 50,000+ TPS with extremely low gas gees (each transaction costing approximately $0.0001). Furthermore, Neon Labs recently announced that it will be deploying its Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) solution on the Solana testnet. In the future, users will be able to port Ethereum-based applications to Solana such as the likes of Aave, Sushi, and Yearn. This has the potential to solve the perennial problem of incompatibility since Ethereum uses Solidity while Solana uses the Rust programming language.

In this article, we will show you a step-by-step guide on how to easily port funds over to the Solana ecosystem from setting up a wallet, to using centralized exchanges and bidirectional bridges to migrate funds across layer 1s.

Setting up a wallet
Just like using Metamask on Ethereum, Solana has several types of wallets available to interact with its ecosystem. In this article, we will cover the top 2 wallets in Sollet and Phantom.

A. Phantom
1. Head over to phantom.app and click “Add to Chrome”

2. Once you have the Chrome extension installed, navigate to the main page and click on “Create New Wallet”

3. Save the secret recover phrase onto a blank piece of paper click next. Since this is your private key, it is imperative that it is stored in a safe place. If it is lost, you will lose access to the wallet and all funds inside.

4. Choose a strong password and click save. This password is used in order to log onto your Phantom wallet whenever you interact with any applications. If you are unable to remember your password, the seed phrase (see point 3) will be used to restore your account.

5. And you’re done! Click Finish to complete the setup.

6. To access your Phantom wallet, just click on the Phantom extension icon. A dropdown menu will appear where you will be able to view your account balance, address, and the option to receive and send tokens.

A. Sollet
1. Head over to sollet.io

2. Next, copy the seed words and store it in a safe place (we recommend to write it on a piece of paper for extra security), check the box and click continue.

3. On the next pop-up screen, re-enter the seed phrase to confirm that it has been stored safely and click continue.

4. Enter a new password for your wallet. Although there is no requirement to enter a password, nor a minimum length, we advice you to enter a password for additional security. Click “create wallet” to finish the last step.

5. Finally, you will be directed to the homepage of your new wallet where you can observe the following:

  • View your account balance
  • Your Solana address
  • The “+” sign allows you to add more tokens to your wallet such as USDT, USDC, COPE, etc

*Note: the writer prefers using Phantom over Sollet due to its user-friendly interface and seamless integration with the Chrome browser. Phantom has also recently managed to raise a $9million from Andreessen Horowitz to scale its wallet cementing its status as the de facto Solana wallet.

Funding Your Wallet
Both Sollet and Phantom uses the Solana token (SOL) in order to pay for gas fees. You can send Solana to your wallet from any centralized exchange of your preference. In this article, we will use the FTX exchange as an example.

1. On your FTX homepage, navigate to “Wallet” > “Balances” > “Withdraw”

2. On the withdraw interface input your desired amount, Phantom/ Sollet address, and the SMS 2FA code sent to your mobile phone. Click withdraw and the SOL token should be in your wallet after a few minutes.

Bridging additional funds to your Solana wallet
Apart from having the SOL token, you need additional USDT/ USDC in order to purchase other tokens or provide liquidity to enter farms. This article explores two different ways to get additional funds to your Solana wallet.

A. From FTX to a Solana wallet
1. This follows the same steps as per above, but instead of sending SOL choose USDT or USDC instead.

C. Solana Wormhole
1. If you have ERC-20 tokens, you can take advantage of the Wormhole which allows you to easily move any tokens from Ethereum to Solana (and vice-versa) with its bi-directional bridge. To start, head over to www.wormholebridge.com and click “Get Started”.

2. Next, connect both your Ethereum wallet (Metamask) and Solana wallet (Phantom/ Sollet)

3. Specify the token and amount that you wish to transfer and click “transfer”. In this example, we chose to transfer WETH (wrapped Ethereum), but you can also opt to transfer stablecoins such as UST or TUSD.

3. There will be a series of confirmations which you need to approve in both your Metamask and Phantom/ Sollet wallets. After a few minutes, the status should read “Transfer complete on Solana” which signifies that the token has been bridge from the Ethereum to Solana blockchain. Do check if the funds have arrived safely in your Solana wallet.

Wrapping up
The examples above highlight relative ease to transfer assets from other layer 1s/ centralized exchanges to the Solana ecosystem. You can now participate in the myriad of protocols that Solana has to offer!

This article was written in collaboration with Moet Finance, a project that I am helping out. Do give them a follow at @moetfinance on Twitter!

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Ash

Ash

Ashton is an active participant of DeFi and believes that it will be the next infrastructure that supports the world of finance.