The Solana-based Phantom crypto wallet has just announced a Series B funding round which netted the project $109 million from leading venture capital firms.
The round was led by Paradigm with participation from previous investors such as Andreessen Horowitz, Variant, Solana Ventures, and Jump Crypto.
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The Jan 31 announcement added that it was also launching the wallet but only to Apple iOS users initially. The Android version would be “coming shortly,” the team stated.
The wallet can already be downloaded as an add-on to popular browsers such as Chrome, Firefox, Brave, and Edge. This sets it up in direct competition with Ethereum wallet MetaMask which has already topped 21 million users last year.
In November, BeInCrypto reported that Phantom reached the one million user milestone. That figure has now doubled according to reports and the wallet is consistently onboarding about 100,000 users per week according to CEO Brandon Millman.
The company building Solana’s leading crypto wallet is now worth $1.2 billion according to the Monday announcement.
Building Web3 wallets
The next big plan for Phantom is to expand beyond Solana into other networks for a full multi-chain environment. It’s specifically targeting Ethereum Virtual Machine compatible networks so that it can compete with MetaMask.
Speaking to TechCrunch, Millman said that the crypto ecosystem is not really for consumers yet, but the company hopes to bridge that gap.
“As the party that’s closest to the end user, we definitely have a responsibility to protect and educate users. A lot of the work that we’ve spent in the past couple months has been around user safety-related features.”
The firm plans to expand the team beyond its current 20 employees and onboard more users to the world of Web3 finance.
It stated that users have staked over 112.4 million SOL tokens (currently worth around $11.6 billion), swapped $1.37 billion in tokens, and made 55 million NFT, DeFi, and dApp transactions.
Solana outage woes
The once hyped “Ethereum killer” Solana has been plagued with performance issues in recent months. On Jan 24, BeInCrypto reported that arbitrage bots overwhelmed the network causing its latest outage.
In mid-December, Solana experienced a similar outage resulting in network congestion from a newly launched NFT collection. In September, the network was down again for 16 hours due to a transaction overload so it appears that Solana or any wallets running on it are not really ready for mass adoption just yet.
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