Solana for Beginners

There has been an explosion of projects building within the Solana ecosystem. Margin trading, NFT’s, automatic market makers, and even meme coins have made their way onto the blockchain. And for good reason. Compared to Ethereum, transactions on Solana are about 30,000 times cheaper, and about 3,500 times faster. In this sense, Solana is a much friendlier blockchain.

Getting setup on a new blockchain can be a daunting task but I’m here to show you how easy it is!

Below, I’ll show you how to create your own Solana wallet, buy $SOL, and access the growing Solana ecosystem.

How to set up a wallet

First, you will need to set up a wallet. I recommend using Phantom.

Go to the Chrome Web Store and click “Add to Chrome” to install Phantom. This should work on both Chrome and Brave.

Now, click “Create New Wallet”.

Write down or save your “Secret Recovery Phrase” somewhere safe as it is the only way to recover your wallet. Do NOT under any circumstances give this secret phrase to anyone. It would be like giving someone the password to your bank account.

When you are done signing up, look for the Phantom extension. 

Mine was at the top right of my Chrome browser. You should see your Phantom extension up there. If not, hover over the symbol that looks like a puzzle piece. When you click on this, you should see a drop down menu. Click the pin icon to make it easier to find next time.

How to buy SOL

Now that your wallet is set up, you’ll need some SOL to pay for transactions.

Solana (SOL) is available to buy on Coinbase, FTX, and Binance. I’ll use Coinbase for this example, the process should be very similar for each.

To buy Solana (SOL) on Coinbase (or any centralized crypto exchange), you will need to create an account and sign in. Once this is done, type in Solana (SOL) on the exchange.

To buy Solana (SOL), click the blue “Buy/Sell” button on the top right.

Then click “Buy SOL” and enter the amount you wish to purchase and at what price. On FTX, you can find these features on the top right of the webpage.

How to transfer SOL to your wallet

Now that you have some SOL, it’s time to transfer it from the exchange to your wallet.

First, you need to get your SOL address. To find your address, open up the Phantom wallet application. 

Click “Deposit SOL” or “Receive” to find your wallet address.

Now hit the “copy” button. What you have copied is your wallet address where you can receive the Solana token.

Now go back to Coinbase, or the exchange you are using, and the “withdraw SOL” option or “Send / Receive” on Coinbase. You can find this on the “wallet” section in the exchange and the page where you purchased Solana.

Once you find this feature, paste your SOL address you just copied from your Phantom wallet into the address bar. Enter how much SOL you would like to withdraw. 

Then hit “Send now”!

Afterwards, check your Phantom wallet to see if the SOL is deposited— it should be there instantly (this is why I love Solana).

Explore the Solana ecosystem


Raydium is an automated market maker (AMM) that enables lightning-fast trades, shared liquidity, and new features for earning yield. Unlike other AMMs who are only able to access liquidity within their own pools, think Uniswap/PancakeSwap/Sushi, Raydium provides liquidity to Serum’s on-chain central limit order book, granting ecosystem-wide access to all order flow and liquidity on Serum. Since Raydium is built on Solana, you can expect significantly lower fees and transaction times, enabling scalability heights that are unmatched on Ethereum. 

Mango Markets

Mango Markets is an elegantly designed decentralized trading platform that enables cross-margin trading. Mango intends to merge the liquidity and usability of CeFi with the permissionless innovation of DeFi, all at a lower cost to the end user than both currently provide. Users can trade with up to 5x leverage on Mango, beating the 2x leverage offered on Aave and Compound. Trading on Mango Markets is as simple as connecting your wallet and depositing your currency. 


CryptoKickers is a metaverse wearables company that recently released Sole Selector — the first project that lets anyone create, customize, mint and sell their own 3D NFT sneakers directly on the Solana blockchain. Anyone can become a 3D NFT artist with their delightful design tools and the low minting fees on Solana make this tool accessible to everyone. Your custom sneakers are showcased in interactive 3D through Phantom’s Collectibles tab. Owners can keep, share, or list their creations for auction all within the same experience.


Serum is a complete, non-custodial DEX running an innovative on-chain central limit order book (CLOB) on the Solana blockchain. In addition to order books, it has cross-chain support, stablecoins, wrapped coins, and the ability to create custom, complex, and novel financial products. The combination of Solana and Serum DEX presents the speed, cost, and UX that users expect from centralized exchanges, all while being fully decentralized and trustless.


Cope is a project created by legendary dev Cyrii, and it enables traders to rank their performance and view other traders’ performance in an index based on their Cope score. Cope won the Community Choice Prize in the Solana x Serum DeFi Hackathon, voted by the community.

Where to learn more about Solana

Last updated on June 25, 2021