How to buy Cardano online

Cardano wants to be the "internet of blockchains", and the ADA cryptocurrency powers its platform. Use this page to find out what you need to know about ADA, and how to buy Cardano.
Tip: our preferred broker is, eToro: visit & create account

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

eToro
Key Features
Accepts customers from the USA
Offers 15 crypto coins to buy&sell including BTC, LTC, ETC, NEO and more
Trade on the world's leading social trading and investing platform
Min Deposit
$50
United States
Start Trading View key features
Key Features
Accepts customers from the USA
Offers 15 crypto coins to buy&sell including BTC, LTC, ETC, NEO and more
Trade on the world's leading social trading and investing platform
Top Coins
  • ZRX
  • LEND
  • ACT
  • ADX
  • ELF
Payment Methods
Wire Transfer, Bank Transfer
eToro offers a wide range of cryptos, such as Bitcoin, XRP and others, alongside crypto/fiat and crypto/crypto pairs. eToro users can connect with, learn from, and copy or get copied by other users.
FOREX.com
Key Features
Trade on popular Crypto markets
Go long or short on cryptos from 10p a point
A trading partner you can trust
Min Deposit
$50
United States
Start Trading View key features
Key Features
Trade on popular Crypto markets
Go long or short on cryptos from 10p a point
A trading partner you can trust
Top Coins
  • ZRX
  • LEND
  • ACT
  • ADX
  • ELF
Payment Methods
Debit Card, Bank Wire, ACH, Credit Card, PayPal
Founded in 1999, part of GAIN Capital Holdings. Licensed in highly regulated jurisdictions, FCA, IIROC, NFA, CFTC, CIMA,FSA. Payment methods ACH, debit card, bank wire transfer. $50 minimum deposit.
LonghornFX
Key Features
The broker offers access to a trusted MetaTrader trading system
Pricing is ensured to be completely transparent, also providing accuracy and speed
Trade a Wide Variety of Assets with Leverage up to 1:500
Min Deposit
$10
United States
Start Trading View key features
Key Features
The broker offers access to a trusted MetaTrader trading system
Pricing is ensured to be completely transparent, also providing accuracy and speed
Trade a Wide Variety of Assets with Leverage up to 1:500
Top Coins
  • ZRX
  • LEND
  • ACT
  • ADX
  • ELF
Payment Methods
Credit Card, Debit Card, Visa, Bitcoin
LonghornFX is a true ECN STP broker dedicated to delivering a superior trading experience to traders no matter their level of experience. Their services are based on transparency, innovation and efficiency, ensuring an unparalleled trading experience for all.

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:

Binance
Key Features
The world's largest cryptocurrency exchange with over 2bn daily users
Innovative trading platform offering enormous range of crypto coins
Supports over 60 methods of payment including PayPal
Min Deposit
$1
United States
Start Trading View key features
Key Features
The world's largest cryptocurrency exchange with over 2bn daily users
Innovative trading platform offering enormous range of crypto coins
Supports over 60 methods of payment including PayPal
Top Coins
  • DOGE
  • THETA
Payment Methods
Cryptocurrencies
Binance has grown exponentially since it was founded in 2017 and is now one of, if not the biggest cryptocurrency exchanges on the market.

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’.

eToro
Key Features
Accepts customers from the USA
Offers 15 crypto coins to buy&sell including BTC, LTC, ETC, NEO and more
Trade on the world's leading social trading and investing platform
Min Deposit
$50
United States
Start Trading View key features
Key Features
Accepts customers from the USA
Offers 15 crypto coins to buy&sell including BTC, LTC, ETC, NEO and more
Trade on the world's leading social trading and investing platform
Top Coins
  • ZRX
  • LEND
  • ACT
  • ADX
  • ELF
Payment Methods
Wire Transfer, Bank Transfer
eToro offers a wide range of cryptos, such as Bitcoin, XRP and others, alongside crypto/fiat and crypto/crypto pairs. eToro users can connect with, learn from, and copy or get copied by other users.

Still undecided?

Pros

  • 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

Cons

  • 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:

The total cryptocurrency market capitalization has dipped about 2% this week after hitting $1.86 trillion earlier this month. Fundamental analysis: Powell comments weighing on crypto? Jerome Powell said this week that cryptocurrencies still represent an unstable store of value and that the Federal Reserve is in no rush to roll…
Cardano (ADA) price is trading moderately in the red this week as the price action consolidates following gains of almost 8.5% made in the last week.  Fundamental analysis: Cardano decentralization ongoing Tim Harrison, the Marketing and Communications Director at IOHK has published a roadmap that includes critical steps…
Most of the major cryptocurrencies have advanced as the US presidential election continued to progress with a winner not yet officially announced. Joe Biden has a good shot at becoming the 46th President and Biden’s camp hopes they will cross the threshold of 270 today. Fundamental analysis: Cardano price is…

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) has taken more steps to solidify its interest in the African market. The network recently announced another partnership in Tanzania to facilitate financial empowerment, digital identity, and internet connectivity to rural communities in the country. Charles Hoskinson, chief executive officer of IOHK, Cardano’s parent company, commented…
Chief executive officer of IOHK Charles Hoskinson has hit back at David Hoffman and other critics who claimed that Cardano is a “Scam.” It's extraordinary. Every day so many of these Podcasters feel comfortable calling cardano a "blatant scam". It's one thing to say you're…
Data from analytics tool Stakingrewards indicates that Cardano (ADA) and Polkadot (DOT) are leading in staked capitalization. the data also shows that Cardano is slightly ahead of Polkadot, with users staking $28.95 billion on ADA’s platform while DOT has hit $25.43 billion. The pair accounts for more…

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.

Written by: James Knight
James joined us in 2021 and comes with years of experience as a writer and content creator. Alongside a passion for finance, sports, and technology, James is a historian on a desperate quest to shoot under par.