Cardano aims to facilitate positive global change with a research-based Proof of Stake blockchain platform that is secure, scalable, and environmentally sustainable.
This guide will take you through where and how to buy Cardano’s native token, ADA, and how the project plans to change the world.
If you’re looking for a simple way to buy Cardano, all you need to do is sign up with a crypto exchange. You can access it online with a computer, smartphone, or tablet to quickly buy and sell Cardano and a range of other cryptocurrencies. The best platforms are listed below as well as a quick step-by-step guide on purchasing Cardano.
Start by finding a broker or cryptocurrency exchange where you can buy ADA. You might want to look at fee structures and ease of use when considering platforms. The best ones have been shortlisted in the next section, but you can sign up with some of our recommended options below.
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Fill in the registration form with all the personal information required in order to create an account. Before your account can be verified, you may also need to provide a photo ID and proof of address. Once that is out of the way, you can click “Deposit” and fund your account with the payment method of your choice, such as a credit or debit card.
Search your platform for the trading pair containing ADA and the fiat currency you just deposited. Now enter how much you want to purchase in a buy order. Make it a market order if you want to buy ADA immediately at the current price, or a limit order if you want to specify a price to buy it at in the future.
Cardano is a blockchain platform for the development of enterprise-level decentralised applications (dApps)—apps that run on the blockchain. With peer-reviewed research and evidence as its foundation, Cardano is designed to be secure, scalable, and sustainable, providing reliable financial and social applications on a global scale.
Cardano aims to tackle the issues faced by the Proof of Work blockchains that came before it, in particular, scalability. While Ethereum facilitated dApp development, its low throughput means transactions can be slow and expensive when the network is congested. In contrast, Cardano can maintain network performance while processing a large number of transactions.
The Cardano blockchain uses a Proof of Stake consensus protocol called Ouroboros, which is provably secure, capable of meeting global demand, and sustainable, requiring far less energy than Bitcoin or Ethereum.
The Cardano network is split into two layers CSL and CCL. The CSL or Cardano Settlement Layer is where all the transactions are validated by Ouroboros. The CCL layer or Cardano Computing Layer is where the processing for the dApps is facilitated.
ADA is Cardano’s native cryptocurrency and is vital for staking in the project’s Proof of Stake system. It can also be used as a secure and efficient medium of value exchange and will be used to access Cardano-based applications and services in the future.
Cardano is popular with a range of investor profiles as it can lend itself to both short-term and long-term purchases. These approaches both have their own advantages and we’ll explore them in more detail below.
Buy and hold is the most straightforward strategy there is. It doesn’t require much skill as anyone can buy ADA and hold onto it. There is no need to spend time and effort monitoring and analysing the market to potentially make a profit with this strategy.
One of the benefits of holding onto ADA for the long term is that you can stake it during that time. Anyone who operates a stake pool or delegates their tokens to a stake pool is rewarded with more ADA.
Many long-term investors opt to self-custody their tokens in a private wallet with access to the Cardano address and key. This can make your tokens more secure and means that you don’t need to rely on centralised services in order to access them.
Investors with smaller holdings often choose software wallets as they are free, user-friendly, and can be downloaded for desktop or mobile.
Hardware wallets are a physical hardware device and provide unparalleled security storage for those willing to pay. Popular hardware brands include Trezor, BitBox, and Ledger.
The volatility of ADA’s price means traders can also generate more frequent profits by buying and selling it more often. This will take more time and effort and traders often use technical analysis to decide when to buy and sell.
Private wallets are less convenient for traders as they need to access their tokens more often. Instead, many choose to use web wallets, which crypto exchanges provide for free.
Those who thought to hold Cardano should also consider whether or not to stake it also. Staking is where holders of particular crypto set some aside to help approve transactions on the network. Those who stake Cardano will earn a reward which is taken from the trading fees that happen on the network.
We can provide you with information about Cardano’s fundamentals and potential, but you will have to decide whether to invest for yourself. There is a limited maximum supply of ADA, and this scarcity could make it a good store of value in the long term.
The ability to earn staking rewards from ADA could incentivise more people to buy and stake the token, while more ADA being staked, means a smaller supply available on the market. This could be a positive combination for ADA price. For more information on price predictions, read our ADA price forecasts here.
Project building on Cardano creates even more demand for ADA, as it will be usable for a range of applications. The release of the Goguen update in September 2021 made Cardano programmable and has paved the way for the development of dApps and services.
Cardano is now capable of having its own decentralised finance (DeFi) ecosystem and, with its low cost and sustainability, it could even hope to rival Ethereum as the home of DeFi. With the final two stages of development focusing on scalability and governance, Cardano could achieve its goal of effecting global positive change.
"One of the most common mistakes new users make is falling for promises of extremely high profit if they purchase a specific token. While crypto has definitely made many people rich, it has caused many more to lose their investments. Doing even a minimum amount of research before buying a cryptocurrency is a very good habit to have as it can filter out a good portion of bad projects."
Vlad Totia Research Analyst at Zilliqa
Similarly to choosing a broker before making an account with one, you must also carefully select a crypto exchange that you are going to use. The same rules apply here — different exchanges charge different fees, offer different payment methods, exchange rates, security measures, and alike.
Because of that, you must carefully compare different trading platforms and pick the one that offers satisfactory terms. Also, if you are a beginner, you should also try to find a user-friendly exchange, which doesn't feature countless complicated tools that will only distract you. Such advanced platforms can be rather intimidating for newcomers, and if you run into one, it is important to know that there are simpler alternatives.
But, once you make your choice, here is how to proceed.
The first step is to set up a cryptocurrency wallet in which you will store your coins. This is the first step for everyone who aims to buy Cardano with the intention of storing it for a longer period.
Exchanges feature their own wallet to which ADA will be transferred after purchase, or trade has been complete, although you shouldn't keep your coins on an exchange for longer than is absolutely necessary.
There are several reasons for this. For example, if you leave your coins on an exchange, and the exchange gets suspicious about something, it might freeze your funds. Your coins might become inaccessible to you if the exchange shuts down suddenly, or its platform crashes for some reason.
Not to mention that you are also in danger of losing funds to hackers, should they manage to infiltrate the platform and access the exchange's hot wallets.
There are different kinds of wallets for you to choose from, including software and hardware wallets.
Software wallets include online (hot) wallets, desktop wallets, and mobile wallets. Alternatively, you have cold storages, which is another name for hardware wallets, which are devices that you can store your coins on, and then detach them from your PC, thus making them unavailable for anyone else.
Hardware wallets are the most impractical, as you cannot shift coins unless you plug it into your PC. However, they are also the safest. Hot wallets are the most convenient, as they are always online, and you can transfer coins at any time, but they are also the easiest to hack.
Desktop and mobile wallets are somewhere in between, as they can act as hot or cold wallets, depending on whether or not you have connected them to the internet.
With the wallet ready and waiting, you will be ready to join an exchange. As mentioned, you need to choose which one to use, based on their properties, available payment methods, fees, and alike. It goes without saying that you should choose a cryptocurrency exchange that offers you to buy Cardano, preferably one that has paired ADA against fiat currency.
There are plenty of reputable platforms to choose from, some examples being Poloniex, Binance, Coinbase, Coinmama, and others. Simply check them out, and see which one fits your situation.
Most exchanges offer multiple payment methods that you can use to buy cryptocurrencies, but once again, it matters which one you choose, as they have different properties.
For example, you can buy ADA with a credit card, which is fast, and it lets you buy more at once since you get to borrow some money from your bank. The downsides include higher fees and the fact that you have to pay back the bank later on.
Debit cards are also just as fast, and they let you avoid owing to the bank by only letting you use the money that you already have in your account. However, the fees are just as high as with credit cards, and you can only use the money that you already have, which may or may not let you buy a lot of coins.
Bank transfers are the cheapest and a very secure method, but they are slow, and you won't be able to finish the purchase quickly.
PayPal doesn't really support crypto exchanges, and besides, it has very high fees, so it likely wouldn't be the best payment method, even if you could use it. It does allow you to buy crypto via P2P platforms, but that is a completely different type of platform and not a regular crypto exchange.
With the wallet set up, an exchange account created, and a preferred payment method all in place, you are ready to buy coins. Click on the Buy Crypto option, and you will be transferred to the buy screen, where you will have to enter the coin you wish to buy, the amount you are looking for, and select the payment method you prefer.
It is quite simple and straightforward, so you shouldn't have any problems with that.
The last step is optional, and it includes depositing your coins in a wallet that you set up in step one. It is not mandatory, so you don't have to do it if you don't want to. However, for the reasons mentioned above, we recommend that you do.
Simply go to your wallet, and copy your Cardano address. After that, go back to the exchange, choose the option to withdraw funds, and paste the address in the appropriate field. Enter the amount, and you are all set to send your ADA coins to the wallet, where they will be kept safe.
ADA’s capacity is big enough to accommodate over 4,000 transactions per second, making it among the fastest in the industry. But there are many pros and cons of the altcoin. We’ve outlined the core advantages and disadvantages below.
Lastly, let us share a few more tips regarding how to buy Cardano. Trading crypto can be exciting to a lot of traders, and it is not unusual to get carried away, which is why we recommend you keep these tips in mind at all times.
Both of these are rather sensible when you think about it, but a lot of people make the mistake of completely ignoring them.
Don't trust anyone who suggests that you invest in any asset, even if it is someone close or trustworthy. It is your money, and therefore — your choice. You make the decision, based on research and facts, and not someone else's suggestion.
If you decide that buying ADA is the right move, wait for the right time to buy, which is usually when it drops, and it seems that a surge might start soon.
Different exchanges offer different exchange rates, as mentioned, so don't stick to the first platform you run into. Check out different exchanges, compare their terms, prices, and exchange rates, and then decide which one to use.
Finally, don't forget about safety and security at any point. Your money has value, whether it is in fiat or crypto. If you are serious about securing your dollars, euros, or otherwise — you should also be just as concerned about securing coins and using safe platforms for dealing with them.
You can buy ADA via numerous different payment methods, including:
Buy Cardano with Cash: There are few places or organisations with the capacity to change fiat with ADA coins. If you have fiat, a willing buyer willing seller approach is the way out, although price stability is not guaranteed.
Buy Cardano with Credit Card: The traditional infights between the credit/debit card and digital coins has stifled this conversion. If this should be a factor, convert the currencies from platforms such as Binance or Bittrex before purchasing ADA tokens.
Buy Cardano with Bank Transfer
Buy ADA with Bitcoin
Buy Cardano with PayPal: PayPal has a customer-centric approach, which makes it undesirable to most cryptocurrencies. Its costs are high to cushion these factors, making this format unattractive to most customers.
Apart from the most popular methods of getting Cardano which we mentioned above, there are alternatives such as:
Buying Cardano on P2P platforms
Using decentralised exchanges (DEXes) to buy ADA
Getting ADA as payment for some sort of work online
Buying Cardano via crypto ATMs
Running masternodes and receiving rewards
Lending ADA that you own, and receiving interest
As you can see, there are plenty of options for anyone who wishes to acquire Cardano, and there really is no excuse for not doing so, if you think that it is a good idea. Cardano has been a top-ranking coin for years now, and most people agree that it is a safe investment. As pointed out, you should form your own opinion, but knowing that it has a major user base is a good reason to consider it.
Transaction fees: This is the cost of moving the digital currency from one platform to another. It is the margin used to ensure the platform is running, and all the associated technology and resources are serviced.
Deposit fees: This cost is associated when the coin is being introduced into the systems from hard to soft currency. It is the transition cost of the currency (in its original form or fiat) from one form to another.
Withdrawal fees: This happens when a customer wants to sell his or her holding digital currency in exchange for fiat or the actual ADA coins. The brokers or vendors levy it as their trading margin. The charge varies from one service provider to the other with the highest charging 4% of the total withdrawable amount.
Spreads & commissions: Spreads are the amount payable to traders who do currency evaluation (rising and falling). Their cut is a percentage of the total income from the transactions. The same explanation can be said of commissions, just that commissions may be diversified on-trade basis. Commission based payments have been on the decline due to the competition in the cryptocurrency market.
With Cardano being a Proof of Stake blockchain it relies on owners to stake some of their tokens in order to verify transactions on the network. For those who don’t want to operate a stake pool, they can stake their ADA through delegation. This involves choosing one or more stake pools to delegate to, after which rewards accrue in ADA. Staking can be done through certain wallets and crypto exchanges.
There is not really a good or bad time to buy ADA. If you think that its price will be much higher in the future, you can buy it right now, or wait for it to drop a bit. If you go for ADA derivatives, you can buy it at any point, and make your prediction.
Absolutely. Low price means that you can buy more coins, and the more you buy, the more you can earn when even small price fluctuations happen. Just be mindful of the risks, as the price can drop just as easily.
Yes, Cardano is after total transparency and decentralisation, its team is well-known, and the coin has never given any reason for users to doubt it.
You can trade it, store it, sell it, use it within its own ecosystem for voting and using smart contracts, and maybe even use it for purchases if you find a merchant who accepts it.