Company building Solana wallet Phantom is worth $1.2B

Crypto venture firm Paradigm, which is building Solana’s (SOL/USD) Phantom, is worth $1.2 billion after leading a $109 million Series B funding round for the crypto wallet, company CEO Brandon Millman said, cited by CoinDesk.

The company’s main product is a Chromium browser plugin. The wallet is going mobile. Paradigm debuted its iOS app today.

Critical infrastructure for Solana-based DeFi  

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The popular non-custodial wallet has become crucial infrastructure for Solana-based decentralized finance, and inexplicably so. Phantom’s code is closed in an industry marked by open source. Their doors remain closed even as competing wallets embrace openness.

Millman explained the reason for this, adding that Phantom’s 2 million monthly active users aren’t “bothered” by the closed source code:

Once it’s open-source, there’s this implicit expectation around responding to people who are leaving issues on the GitHub repo, people who are submitting pull requests, wanting to get features into the wallet. We don’t want to start doing those things quite yet.

Not everyone is happy. According to a prominent venture capital firm analyst, the only reason he hasn’t stopped using Phantom is that there’s no better option. He would abandon it as soon as an adequate open source alternative emerges.

Secrets of Phantom’s success

Millman and cofounders conceived of Phantom as a product that would be superior to ConsenSys’ MetaMask. That plan changed when Phantom settled on Solana. MetaMask is EVM-compatible. However, the original idea remained a driving development force.

Millman added:

We originally were trying to move toward that multi-chain division last year, but chose to double down on Solana because of all the growth that we were seeing. We’re carefully considering the move to the EVM ecosystem sort of this year.

Phantom has a stash of cash

According to Millman, Series B investors have embraced Phantom’s multichain ambitions. They were on board before the crypto market plummeted in 2022.

As Phantom’s ambitions grow, it will invest a high amount in new staff. It has the cash for this. The CEO, a former Ethereum (ETH/USD) developer, said it’s always good to have some cash aside for a rainy day.

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