How to set up PhantomApp with Solana and MoonPay (a crypto post)

Ravi Kurani
5 min readDec 29, 2021


Why is crypto so hard and stupidly difficult to set up?

I was reading an article by Packy McCormick (The Interface Phase), where he (seemed to have) first hand felt my frustration:

…the web3 experience still remains complex and confusing to all but the most technical or committed.

I was definitely committed (and think I’m technical), as my sister Shrina Kurani was dropping the first ever NFT for a political candidate on SolSea, and I wanted to be the first to own a political NFT!

But, OMG, was it difficult to navigate the choppy waters of getting setup.

Shrina Kurani for Congress on SolSea

OK, so I’m venting, but I do think there is a ton of promise in crypto, web3, and the metaverse, and wrote a post a little while ago on how different sci-fi authors have crafted what a metaverse could look like.

So, why should you read this post?

You can read the post in 1 (or many) of 3 ways:

  • A how-to guide. Use this as a how-to guide to set up your own account on SolSea and purchase an NFT, or donate to Shrina’s campaign!
  • A conversation starter. A way to potentially say “Ravi you’re an idiot, and we’ve all known this”. Comment below if you do feel that way.
  • A resonating post. Maybe you’re frustrated too, and you “Googled” oh web2, “how to purchase SOL to get a SolSea account using Phantom”.

Ok, now that you’ve picked one of those three, I’m just going to go through a very simple run through of how I did it (and some of the downfalls of what I did wrong).

Step 1. Get a Phantom wallet.

Phantom App Logo

So, just as in the ‘real world’, you need a place to store your money. A wallet.

Phantom is a Chrome app that stores your Solana (SOL).

It’s a wallet.

But, why do you need SOL?

Yeah, I was wondering the same thing.

Here’s a quick primer on NFTs and the fungibility of things.

The fungibility part of the NFT (non fungible token), basically means that each individual NFT is interchangeable and indistinguishable from each other. So, all of this basically meant that they needed to create a ‘new style’ of token representation that was different than bitcoin, Etherum, the US Dollar, gold.

Fungibility means that the two unique items are equally interchangeable. i.e. 1 dollar is 1 dollar (if you had one and I had one). But the painting of the Mona Lisa is non-fungible, which means it has a value of its own.

So, why SOL (Solana)?

Basically, Bitcoin and Etherum were too slow of a protocol. As explained at Binance, Solana has specific features that operate at:

“400ms block times and operates thousands of transactions per second. To put this in perspective, the block time of Bitcoin is around 10 minutes, and Ethereum roughly 15 seconds.”

OK, so you sign up for PhantomApp the wallet.

Once you get it loaded up on Chrome, you’ll see your wallet, and you’ll want to click on the deposit button.

Deposit button on Phantom

Step 2. Use MoonPay to put US Dollars in your Phantom Wallet

MoonPay Logo

Now the question is how do you get your Bank of America or Chase account with either your debit or your credit card into the wallet.

You need to transfer it, right?


There are two options, it seems as if FTX doesn’t work for folks in the US. So, I guess don’t try it. 🤷

Two options for inputting money into Phantom Wallet

Log into MoonPay, and DO NOT try to use your credit card. I frustratingly went through and just kept on trying it, as it told me to call Chase, that the card didn’t work.

First, try to call Chase support — no go.
Second, there was just a straight up error in processing my card

I started to Google again, “if you can use a credit card to purchase crypto”. It seems as if you can, but maybe Chase was the problem, maybe MoonPay was the issue, maybe it was all me?

Usually in the web2 world, they would have a bit better prompts — and I, the plebeian, rely on my ‘microcopy’ to guide the user from step 1 to 2.

Anyways, I finally was able to get some SOL by using my debit card!

Step 3. Get USDC and not SOL, ha!

So, for the campaign — I needed to contribute with the USDC (US Dollar Coin), and ended up paying fees for converting my Bank of America US Dollar to SOL and then from SOL to USDC (in Phantom).

Stupid, I know.

This function, however; you can do in Phantom, though!

Step 4. Finally contribute to the campaign!

At last, I was able to contribute to the campaign! Head over to to donate to her campaign, today.

What now?

I feel that crypto, web3, the metaverse is still super nascent, and Packy McCormick does a great job of explaining the app to infrastructure loop. My frustration is just that we’re still in this early stage, the UX isn’t built out — and I’m viewing the web3 world through a web2 lens.

Frustrating? Yes.

Stitching the future? I think so.

I’ll leave you with these last 3 images, as they really speak wonders to what I feel will happen.

Credit: Packy McCormick from the Interface Phase
Credit: Packy McCormick from the Interface Phase
Credit: Packy McCormick from the Interface Phase

Music I was listening to while I wrote this

Dream — Pied Pipers

Dream, The Pied Pipers

This is day 27 of my #90DayOfProse challenge.