How to buy Cardano online
This beginner’s guide explains what Cardano is and how to buy ADA. It tells you what makes Cardano’s technology unique and can help you find out where to buy ADA coins.
Compare where to buy Cardano, and open an account
To buy ADA straight away you can use one of the brokers below. We’ve assessed all the best crypto brokers to help you find the best one. If you aren’t ready to buy yet, read on to learn more about Cardano and how to buy ADA with our step-by-step buyers guide
What is Cardano?
Cardano is a platform that builds on existing blockchain technology to make it available to a much wider audience. ADA is the cryptocurrency that powers Cardano. It’s used for transactions, gives its holders voting rights on the platform, and can be used to earn rewards.
Cardano describes itself as a ‘third generation’ blockchain. It expands on the work of the first two generations – Bitcoin and Ethereum – to offer a blockchain that can be scaled up for much wider use. Its ultimate goal is to be the platform that lets all the many hundreds of cryptocurrencies interact seamlessly with each other, while offering enough ways of verifying transactions to let mainstream institutions, like banks, operate on the blockchain as well.
Cardano was founded by Charles Hoskinson, who also co-founded the Ethereum project. This is one of a number of similarities between Cardano and Polkadot, another platform trying to solve the problems of early generation blockchains that’s founded by a member of the original Ethereum team.
How does Cardano work?
Cardano uses a consensus mechanism to create a platform that can reach a global audience. A consensus mechanism just means that each new transaction has to be approved by a majority before it’s added to the blockchain. This is similar to how Ethereum works, but the Cardano twist is that it’s developed a code called Ouroboros that operates a bit differently.
While Ouroboros is complicated, the main thing you need to know is that anyone who holds ADA coins can be involved in the process and earn rewards. On Cardano there is a series of ‘pools’ and Ouroboros selects one at random each time it wants to verify a transaction. If you own ADA, you have the option to add some coins to one of these pools. Once the process is complete, the pool earns new ADA as a reward which is then handed out to anyone who contributed to the pool.
One of the defining features of Cardano is that all of its updates are peer-reviewed before release. This means that all of the research and development goes through a vigorous academic back-and-forth before it goes live. Although most cryptocurrencies write up how they work in whitepapers, Cardano leans into this extra layer of scientific approval to give its platform a vote of authority.
How to buy Cardano online – a step-by-step guide
Step 1. Find an exchange to buy Cardano
The first thing to do is find an exchange that lets you buy ADA. As Cardano is quite a well-known cryptocurrency, you’ll find it on most of the top exchanges. You might find you need to transfer your fiat currency (currencies like GBP, USD, and EUR) into a cryptocurrency before you can buy ADA coin. The easiest way to do this is to buy Bitcoin and use that to buy ADA.
As for where to buy ADA, here are some of the top exchanges you can use:
- Binance: One of the most popular cryptocurrency exchanges, Binance lets you buy and sell hundreds of cryptocurrencies, and even offers its own coin to use as a trading pair. Join Binance today >
- Bittrex: Bittrex offers the top cryptocurrencies and is one of the most secure and reliable platforms around. It also offers a variety of other trading options, including tokenised stocks. Sign up for Bittrex now >
Step 2. Sign up and fund your account
When you sign up for an exchange it will usually ask you to verify your identity before you can buy anything. This is usually a quick process, the best exchanges can verify you in less than an hour, but you will need to provide some form of photo ID.
Once you’re verified, you need to deposit some cash into your account. To fully fund it so you can buy ADA, you’ll most likely need to buy another cryptocurrency, like Bitcoin, first, and then you’re ready to go.
Step 3. Buy Cardano
This step is simple: just find the BTC/ADA crypto pair on your chosen exchange and hit ‘buy’. That will execute the trade and congratulations, you now own some ADA coins!
Step 4. (Optional) Get a suitable wallet
Wallets are a way of storing your coins securely and independent from the exchange you use. You don’t have to use a wallet, if you’re interested in short term trading or just holding a few ADA coins, you can leave them in your ecxchange account.
If you plan on holding ADA for the long term or just want some extra security, a wallet might be the way to go. There are quite a few options out there depending on your exact needs, but here are two of the top ones to think about first:
- Freewallet: An online cryptocurrency wallet, you can use Freewallet through your browser or by downloading its mobile app. Sign up for Freewallet today >
- Ledger Nano S: One of the most popular hardware wallets around, the Nano S stores your coins completely offline. That means that your coins are protected even if you connected to a virus-infected computer. Get a Ledger Nano S now >
How to trade Cardano – a step-by-step guide
Step 1. Find a broker
When you are on the lookout for somewhere to trade cryptocurrency, make sure you pick a reputable and trustworthy broker. When it comes to trading Cardano, you have a few options:
- eToro: The most popular cryptocurrency broker around. It offers all sorts of trading options on crypto, as well as on things like stocks, commodities, and forex. Join eToro today >
- Plus500: On Plus500 you can trade CFDs for a whole range of the biggest cryptocurrencies. It also lets you trade on all the popular assets, such as stocks. Sign up for Plus500 now >
Step 2. Deposit money
When you’ve chosen your broker and decided you’re ready to trade, you’ll need to put down a deposit. Typically, minimum deposits won’t break the bank if you’re serious about trading.
Step 3. Decide how you’d like to trade
There are two ways to speculate on cryptocurrencies – spread betting and CFDs (contracts for difference). Whichever one you pick, you’re effectively predicting whether the value of your cryptocurrency will go up or down. If you’re not sure which route you want to take, it might be worth doing some more research and finding out a bit more about crypto spreads and CFDs.
Step 4. Start trading
If you’re a complete beginner, it’s worth setting up a demo account with your broker before you start trading ADA for real. This will give you a good feel for the way trading works as it can take a while to get used to the way cryptocurrency values fluctuate. As you’ll see, cryptocurrencies are highly volatile and difficult to predict so it’s easy to win and lose money quickly.
Whether you’re on your live account or still in practice mode, trading involves taking a position on the price of your chosen cryptocurrency – essentially betting whether it will rise or fall in value. If you think it will rise, take a long position (buy), if you think it will fall, take a short position (sell).
Depending on the type of broker you choose, you may also be able to add leveraged trading to your strategy, but you should proceed with caution as this is a high risk move. Leveraged trading allows you to lay a fraction of the value of your trade in the form of a ‘margin’.
- If you own ADA you can earn rewards just by holding it in a wallet
- It’s very open about new developments and what Cardano is trying to achieve
- All new updates are based on rigorous scientific research and peer-reviewed papers
- Along with the science, Cardano is backed by famous names in the crypto world
- There is a lot of competition to be the blockchain platform that achieves mass appeal
- Some danger of ‘double-spending’ as its possible a transaction could be approved twice
Here are three more questions to consider before you decide to invest in Cardano.
1. Is now a good time to buy Cardano?
Whether now is the right time to buy depends on your goals. For a long term investor, you want to think about whether you believe Cardano can be the platform to lead blockchain technology towards mass adoption. There’s a lot of competition to be that platform, but ADA does offer unique benefits, like its vigorous academic approach.
Altneratively, for short-term traders, overall growth might be less important. You might want to look at the current ADA price and decide whether it represents a good opportunity. Whatever your outlook, it’s a good idea to check out the latest Cardano analysis to stay on top of anything that might affect your decision to buy. You can find all the latest market analysis below:
Litecoin (LTC) and Cardano (ADA) price prediction for April
Cardano (ADA) price prediction for November
Cardano (ADA) price struggling at $0.10 resistance despite ongoing election uncertainty
2. What problem does Cardano solve, and what are the coin’s investment prospects?
Cardano makes cryptocurrencies and the blockchain realistic technologies for use in the real world. It does this by creating a platform focused on scalability and interoperability, which can process fast transactions and facilitates interactions between apps, cryptocurrencies, and mainstream institutions.
ADA’s prospects depends on how well Cardano can scale up its platform. A lot of its work is promising, not least because it’s created a central treasury that offers grants to developers whose ideas are the most popular – as voted on by ADA token holders. That should put it in a good spot to react to the latest demands.
Despite its good work, the challenge for Cardano is the same as for many other ‘third gen’ blockchain platforms: there’s a lot of them. Bitcoin and Ethereum dominated the first two generations in part because there was much less competition, Cardano has to battle with a mass of alternatives competing for the same space. You can follow the latest news from all these cryptocurrencies below:
Cardano (ADA) launches another project in Africa, this time in Tanzania
Charles Hoskinson replies critics that call Cardano (ADA) a scam
Cardano (ADA) dominates the crypto market for staked capitalization
3. Do you want to hold Cardano for the long term?
ADA could be a good long term investment if you want to support the platform or stake your coins to earn rewards. It has a lot of competition muscling in on the same field, but it benefits from good name recognition and some big name backers. Here are a couple of final things to think about depending on how you want to buy ADA:
Considerations for a long term investment strategy
The first thing to think about for a long term strategy is whether you think Cardano’s platform is a good bet to win out against its competition. If you believe in its success, you should find an exchange and buy ADA coins straight away.
Considerations for a short term trading strategy
Short term traders don’t need to worry about long term growth or the future of the blockchain space. If you want to trade in the short term the most important thing is to sign up for a broker with cheap trading fees. Once you’ve done that, you might want to use our guide to short term trading to help you try to predict ADA’s market moves.