The SolFlare Wallet is a software wallet used to store SOL coins and tokens on the Solana blockchain. Solana Labs have developed it, and it’s available for download from their website. In this article, we’ll review what the wallet offers and whether or not it might be worth your time.
SolFlare – Software Review
The SolFlare crypto wallet is intended for the Solana blockchain and supports SOL coins and SPL tokens. As of September 2021, it’s only compatible with the Ledger Nano hardware wallets (you can use SolFlare as a hot wallet). There are two versions at the moment: a browser plugin and a web app. A mobile app is in development (according to their website). The FAQ provides extensive information about how to utilize your SolFlare wallet on the web app.
The web user interface appears to be simple and easy to use. There are two options for you: create a new wallet or access an existing one.
Activation and Setup Review
Arriving on the homepage, I can choose to make a new wallet or access an existing one.
When I create a wallet on the SolFlare website, I have to supply a password. After that, I’m provided with a list of seed phrases to record or copy to my clipboard. Since I intend to create a new, fresh wallet (I want to use it with my Ledger Nano X), I return to the homepage and click “Access Wallet” instead.
Three options appear to me: enter the mnemonic phrase, Ledger, or import a keystore file (a deprecated feature; SolFlare converts keystore files to seed phrases).
I choose to use Ledger since I want to use my existing hardware wallet. However, to even install the Solana app on my Ledger, I needed to perform a 10-minute firmware update of my hardware wallet (if you don’t see Solana as an installable app via the Ledger Live app, a required firmware update could be the reason).
After connecting my wallet, the web interface asks me to choose a “derivative path.” I select the first wallet ID (Solana refers to a public address as a wallet ID). I provide a password again to protect the assets in this wallet.
Activation and setup were easy. The website was able to connect with my Ledger Nano X without needing additional software components. You’ll need FIDO U2F installed on the Ledger Nano and the browser to make the connection happen with your device.
My first transaction will be to receive money. I select the “Receive” button at the top of the wallet dashboard. A pop-up appears with a QR code and a link to copy the address to the clipboard. I choose the latter option. There was no wallet verification to ensure that the generated wallet ID was correct. Still, it probably wasn’t necessary (I’ve validated public addresses using hardware wallets when receiving funds).
Although I didn’t start a transaction, I double-checked the Solana documentation and confirmed that all transactions must be signed by a hardware wallet or by providing a password. You could utilize the Ledger Nano X if you connected your hardware wallet. If you made a hot wallet at setup, you might use the private key you generated and your password to sign transactions.
Transactions seem straightforward. You can send and receive funds, plus use your hardware wallet or password to sign transactions. The options are available from the main dashboard and are easy to find in the interface.
When logging in/out, I didn’t have to re-enter my wallet ID password. I skipped the password screen (this occurred with a Ledger Nano X, but it might be different if it’s a keystore/private key file).
When creating a new wallet, I could skip the password entry, and I’m not sure why it’s necessary for the SolFlare wallet. Even without a password, I could access the wallet interface (mnemonic and Ledger Nano connection). It seems that a password is only required for signing transactions, not to keep people out of the account.
When sending money using a hardware device, you don’t need to type in a password; however, you’ll need to supply your keystore file’s password if you’re using SolFlare as a software wallet. The password you selected during the initial setup is what’s required to sign outgoing transactions.
The wallet does not store your private key on the server, so it’s “non-custodial.” Exporting the private key and mnemonic phrase is possible.
Users will not have to sacrifice privacy or control to use SolFlare. The wallet service doesn’t collect personal information. Solana’s blockchain functionality allows for real-time wallet updates and instant exchange of funds between users. Real-time transactions are possible because of the blockchain’s speed. Decentralized security features will make SolFlare appealing for Solana holders looking to protect their assets – no need to trust a third party!
The password system is perplexing. At first, it wasn’t clear what the password was for, but I figured it out from reading SolFlare’s documentation. New users in the crypto sector may feel a false sense of security by not safeguarding their private keys; instead, they believe that a password system could protect their assets. However, if you’re using a non-exchange wallet, you’re probably not a novice.
SolFlare is designed for the Solana blockchain only, but it supports the SOL coin and SPL tokens.
SolFlare gives you access to a few functionalities besides money management. You can swap tokens through the decentralized exchange accessible in the interface, stake Solana funds for validation activities, and manage your Solana NFT collection (as of this writing, Solana is just entering the NFT space).
If you’re interested in staking on Solana, you should research validators before delegating funds. You can’t do it in the SolFlare interface, but you may look up validators on external websites. You can discover the commission fee and market aggregate APY for each validator using SolanaBeach.io. For more information about APYs offered per validator, and precise details on costs, visit StakingRewards.com.
SolFlare is a user-friendly platform for conducting transactions on the Solana blockchain. It has centralized and decentralized security features, such as passwords. The web wallet does not store your private keys; instead, it allows you to add passwords to secure access to specific wallets. Signing a transaction is required before sending any money.
At the moment, it only works with the Ledger Nano X for hardware wallets. There has been no word from Solana or SolFlare about adding support for other hardware wallets.
There is no way to research a validator inside the SolFlare wallet. It would be best to explore outside the wallet web app before choosing which staking pool to join.