Your first voyage in Decentralized Finance: using a Decentralized Exchange (DEX)
Welcome back to Orca for Everyone!
Back in Part I, we showed the basics of getting started in crypto — setting up an account with a centralized crypto exchange (a “CEX” like Coinbase or FTX), buying your first cryptocurrency (in our example, Solana’s SOL token), and sending it to your very own Solana wallet (such as Phantom).
But this was merely the beginning of the journey — your adventure is only just getting started! Now that you’ve skimmed the surface of Solana, it’s time to dive into the exciting depths of DeFi. In Part II of this series, we’ll get you started with Decentralized Exchanges (DEXs) and show you how to make your very first swap (the local lingo for exchanging cryptocurrency) on Orca!
DeFi and DEXs: Bringing Freedom to Finance
Thanks to public blockchain technology used by crypto protocols like Solana, a free and open financial system is not only possible, but growing fast. This ecosystem is known broadly as Decentralized Finance, or DeFi.
Within this space, users can access many of the services offered by the traditional financial system (and many others besides!) but with greater efficiency and fewer gatekeepers. In the world of DeFi, users can use their crypto holdings to trade, lend, borrow, and earn yield, all without trusting middlemen or giving up custody of their assets!
Orca is one of those DeFi applications. Orca is a decentralized crypto exchange, or DEX; here, you can exchange one type of cryptocurrency for another. (You can also use it to earn yield by providing liquidity — but we’ll get to that in a future guide!)
We pride ourselves on ensuring that Orca is the most user friendly DEX not just in Solana, but in all of DeFi. Today, we’ll show you just how easy it is to dive into DeFi with Orca.
A quick note before we begin: DeFi is a brave new frontier for finance, which carries its own unique risks. For new explorers like yourself, we highly recommend using only small quantities of crypto until you get your bearings — it’s easier than you might think to lose your money by accident!
Your first swap
Now that you have your Phantom wallet loaded up with some $SOL after part I, you can head straight to orca.so to get started.
In this example, we’ll illustrate how to make a simple trade: swapping SOL for Orca’s governance token, ORCA. But as you’ll discover, we host a wide and wonderful variety of different tokens on the Solana blockchain!
On our main page you’ll be met with this screen:
Start off by clicking “Connect wallet”, then select “Phantom”. This will trigger a window from Phantom asking you to open your wallet and approve a connection with the exchange.
Once you’ve approved the connection, you’ll see your wallet address appear in the top right of the webpage. You can now swap cryptocurrency on Orca!
In this example we’ll be trading SOL for ORCA — click the assets listed beneath “Trade” and “For” to select them. (If “SOL” is already selected in the bottom box beneath “For”, click the arrows in the middle to bring it to the top.)
Alternatively, if you want to get a trade set up fast, try using our Magic Bar: click in the bar with the KILLER WHALE (the cute whale with the crown!) above the main portal, type in “orca to sol” and then press enter:
You can then now enter the amount of SOL you would like to trade for ORCA in the box beside it. In this example, we’ll be buying 1 SOL’s worth of ORCA:
In the middle of the trade panel you can see the Route your trade will take. If routing through a different pool would be more favorable, we’ll automatically take care of it to ensure you get the best price for the token you’re buying. In the screenshot above, your SOL will be swapped for the USDC stablecoin, which will then be swapped for ORCA!
You may need to perform a Setup transaction before making the exchange (as seen in the image above). Simply click the yellow button and then approve the confirmation that appears in your Phantom wallet.
Now, you’re all ready to make your first swap (DeFi lingo for exchanging one cryptocurrency for another)! Click the Exchange button, then approve the transaction in your wallet.
Your ORCA tokens are now in your Phantom wallet. Just click the Phantom logo in your extensions tray, and you’ll find them there. 🐋
Congratulations: You’ve just made your first swap. You’re swiftly becoming a capable member of our pod. We hope you’ll stay with us for more adventures! 😉
Be sure to check out our latest Roadmap Update to see the exciting new developments on the way. For the latest on what’s new with Orca, follow us on Twitter. And for deeper discussion with our podmates and answers to any questions you may have, come join our Discord community!
Disclaimer: The content of this communication is not financial advice and should not be relied on by any persons as financial advice. This communication has not been provided in consideration of any recipient’s financial needs. We have not conducted any financial assessment based on the personal circumstances of any recipients. All persons are encouraged to seek their own independent financial advice prior to taking any further action.