Trader FAQs

What is Orca?

Orca is the easiest place to trade cryptocurrency on the Solana blockchain. On Orca, you can trade tokens cheaply, quickly, and confidently (thanks to our Fair Price Indicator). Additionally, you can provide liquidity to one of our liquidity pools, including our concentrated liquidity pools (Whirlpools) to earn trading fees and token emissions.

What is the difference between an AMM and a traditional exchange?

There are two major ways to trade cryptocurrencies: traditional orderbook exchanges and automated market maker (AMM) protocols. In the former, the orderbook matches users looking to buy with users looking to sell similar amounts of tokens. In the latter, users trade with a pool of tokens, rather than directly with other users. For blockchain applications, we believe that AMM-based trading protocols are the superior approach because of their simplicity and composability.

Why Solana?

Of the solutions competing to scale the blockchain ecosystem, Solana's performance stands out: 50,000 transactions per second, 400ms block times, and $0.01 average transaction fees. What’s more, we've been continually impressed by the value, vision, and engineering chops of the Solana team. For these reasons, we believe that Solana is the best choice to support the next generation of DeFi apps.

Which wallets can I use with Orca?

To connect to Orca you will need a compatible wallet, we currently support: Phantom (available on desktop and mobile); Solflare (a multiplatform wallet available on desktop and mobile); Math Wallet (a multichain wallet available on desktop and mobile); Coin98 extension (a multichain wallet); Slope (available on desktop and mobile); or (the Solana wallet created by Project Serum). We plan to integrate other wallets that support Solana program execution, as they are released.

Can I use Orca on my phone?

You can use Orca on the phone with Phantom, Solflare, Math Wallet or Slope.

What does "Not Enough SOL" mean?

SOL is required to pay network fees. The actual fees are likely to be lower, but for simplicity, a small minimum balance of SOL is required to transact on Orca.
(For more details, see the below FAQ: What fees do I pay when I trade tokens?

What fees do I pay when I trade tokens?

Liquidity provider fee: When trading, you pay a percentage of the trade value as a fee. These fees vary depending on the route the AMM uses, see below for details of the fees. The below table shows the total fee paid when trading in the various pool types found on Orca: column two. The remaining columns show how the total fee is split between earnings for liquidity providers, Orca Treasury, and Impact Fund.
Pool Type
Total Fee
LP Fee
Impact Fund
Stable Pool
Stable Whirlpool
A Stable Pool/Whirlpool is a pool composed of a closely price-correlated pair such as USDC/USDT or mSOL/SOL. Note: a "double-hop trade" such as SOL -> USDT -> ETH would pay 0.3% to trade SOL -> USDT and a further 0.3% to trade USDT -> ETH. Network fee: when trading a nominal amount of SOL is also paid in the form of Solana network fees. The exact amount varies depending on the parameters of the trade; when trading a token for the first time, more SOL is required to add that token to your wallet. In the past, we've found that most trades cost between 0.0001 — 0.001 SOL.
Orca does not charge any additional fees.

How does the Fair Price Indicator work?

When you enter a trade, there are two factors that determine whether we show a Fair price label:
  1. 1.
    Is the price per token within 1% of the rate quoted by CoinGecko?
  2. 2.
    Is the price impact caused by this trade less than 1%?
If either of these two conditions is not met, you'll see either the "Rate Warning!" or "Great Price!" alert in the UI. When a Rate Warning label is displayed you can still trade after acknowledging the warning.

What is price impact?

The price you get on Orca depends on the size of the order. As the amount of tokens you buy from the pool increases, the price of the token increases as well. This increase in price is called price impact.

Why did my trade fail?

The trade will fail if the price of the underlying pools moves past your Slippage Tolerance setting. Increasing the tolerance in your local settings will raise the chances of your trade succeeding, but also increase the probability of another party front-running your trade.
Due to current limitations of the smart contract, trades that route through multiple pools have a higher likelihood of failing due to slippage. The transaction may succeed if sent again. We recognize that this could be frustrating, so we have plans in the works to improve the logic for trades that use multiple pools.
During periods of Solana network congestion there is an increased likelihood of transaction failure.

How do you decide which tokens to list on Orca?

Orca's team will list tokens based on information provided by the project and demonstrated community demand (e.g., volume or interest). Orca is a decentralized protocol that facilitates trades and and will aim to support every asset that is tradable on Solana.

Are tokens on Orca wrapped?

Some tokens on Orca are wrapped, including BTC, ETH, AVAX, LUNA, LidoDAO, Celo, FTM and UST. There are several source protocols for wrapped tokens, you can find more details in our Tokenpedia.

I have ERC-20 tokens in MetaMask. How can I trade them on Orca?

To trade ERC-20s on Orca, you’ll need to convert them to SPL tokens by transferring them from MetaMask to your native SPL wallet. For a step-by-step guide, see How to Trade Tokens.

How do Whirlpools impact the trade experience on Orca?

Fear not—the Orca trade experience you know and love is not going away! As a trader, there is nothing you need to do to take advantage of the deeper liquidity provided by Whirlpools; all the magic happens behind the scenes.

Can I trade programmatically on Orca?

Of course! You can interact with our pools using the token-swap Javascript client from the Solana engineering team. You can also view the deployed program on the Solana Explorer.

How can I report a bug?

Please tell us about it in #bug-reports.

I have feedback or an idea for a feature, how can I share it with Orca?

We value your feedback! Share it directly with us in #feedback.

How can I get in touch?

You can find us on Discord and Twitter (@orca_so). We look forward to chatting with you!