The SPL Token program is the Solana blockchain's token standard. In the same way that ERC20 tokens are for the Ethereum network, SPL Tokens are built for DeFi and other dApps running on top of the Solana blockchain.
The SPL Token Program provides an interface and implementation that third parties can base on to create and use their tokens.
You can learn more about the SPL Token Program here.
Another cool thing to note is that if a user wishes to move assets from Ethereum to Solana, they can utilize Solana's Wormhole cross-chain bridge. Wormhole accomplishes this by letting users lock their ERC20 tokens in a smart contract and mint associated SPL tokens on Solana.
Once you understand what the Solana Program Library Token Program is, it probably becomes clear what SPL tokens are. But, still, let’s break it down.
SPL tokens are basically fungible tokens on the Solana Blockchain. These need to fit the standards set by the SPL Token Program and can be used on various platforms of the Solana blockchain, varying depending on their purpose and engagement. A very popular example for a SPL token is USDC, Circle’s USD stable coin that runs on several blockchains.
There are a few ways to buy SPL tokens. You can either buy them on exchanges such as Kraken, Binance, or Coinbase. Alternatively, you can also buy them on several DEXs such as Serum or Orca.
Since these SPL tokens are designed for the Solana network, they can be stored and managed in a Solana wallet. Some of the most popular Solana compatible wallets users choose to hold SPL tokens in are Sollet, Solflare, and Phantom. It's encouraged that the wallet creates the associated token account itself for a given SPL Token, otherwise, it may limit the user's ability to receive.
It is also important to note that when you want to transfer tokens like USDC to your wallet, you need to send them to your USDC recipient address and NOT your regular Solana address! Both Solflare and Phantom make this process super easy. For transferring SPL tokens, simply add the preferred token to your wallets’ token list, copy the wallet address of the destination account, choose the token amount, and send funds to it. Also, make sure that your new wallet has enough SOL tokens for transaction fees, otherwise, an error message will appear.
If this is your first time setting up a Solana SPL token wallet or staking your SOL, we have this tutorial with Solflare.
One important note for first-timers is to write down the Seed Words and keep them stored in a secure place. Wallets like Solflare and Sollet will ask you to re-enter your Seed Words to ensure you've noted them down.
If you're interested in creating a new wallet that supports SPL tokens, you can check this list of wallets.
You can also check to see your token balances and transaction statuses on the Solana Beach block explorer.
Learning the basics of a new blockchain, like Solana, can be tricky even for those who know how to code. But by starting early, learning how these dApps interact with each other, and grasping these general concepts, you'll come to find out that it's not as difficult as you thought and best yet, that you're part of a technological revolution that's just beginning. You'll also be able to take advantage of some of the incentives that come with this new economy. Understanding the SPL Token Program is just a start as there are other programs designed by the Solana Foundation like the Token Swap and the Token Lending Program. Stay tuned as we continue to release new guides on other Solana programs in the future.
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Please note that none of this is to be considered financial nor investment advice. We highly advise you to always do your own research (’DYOR’) before interacting with any of the projects or tools we write about. Crypto is a highly dynamic and fast paced environment with lots of moving parts that can quickly change.