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Cardano (ADA) is an Ethereum competitor which has adopted a slow and steady approach to blockchain development. This has helped it earn a loyal following which helped push the price of ADA to an all-time high of $3.09 in September 2021.
While this has helped make ADA the #9 crypto by market cap, Cardano is still a highly volatile asset capable of major price swings in a single day.
Today ADA is trading for $0.409049, which is slightly up from yesterday's trading price of $0.3965462535. Cardano's seen an increase of 27% over the past year.
So before you buy Cardano, make sure you understand these unique risks as well as its legal, regulatory and tax status here in the US.
If you're ready to get started, read on for step-by-step instructions and a list of platforms you can use to buy Cardano in the US.
To buy ADA all you'll need is a smartphone or computer, an internet connection, photo identification and a way to pay.
If this is your first time buying cryptocurrency you'll need to look for a platform that accepts US dollars, like CEX.IO or eToro.
Don't worry too much about extra features or coins for now – you can always sign up with another exchange later.
Use the table to choose a platform that meets your needs and click the Go to site button to get started.
Much like Ethereum, Cardano (ADA) is a layer-1 blockchain that supports smart contracts. Its infrastructure enables decentralized applications (dapps) to be built on its network, which operates under a proof-of-stake consensus.
Its success as a cryptocurrency can be at least partly attributed to its founder, Charles Hoskinson, a notable figure in the crypto space and one of the co-founders of Ethereum.
The Cardano roadmap (also referred to as development eras) is broken into 5 stages – foundation, decentralization, use of smart contracts, scaling and governance. It aims to be a scalable, interoperable and sustainable blockchain for real-world applications and the future economy.
While Cardano has significant goals and a strong team, it has been consistently overshadowed by its slow development cycle, which has seen its usability fall behind that of many other competing networks like Ethereum and Solana.Read our beginner's guide to how Cardano works
To create an account with your chosen crypto platform, you only need an email address or mobile number. This will usually allow you to deposit cryptocurrency, but not USD.
If you want to buy Cardano with US dollars, you'll need to pass a Know Your Customer (KYC) check.
This is a standard security procedure for most exchanges in the US and requires you to upload some photo ID, and in some cases a selfie with today's date.
KYC is usually approved instantly, but in rare cases, you may have to wait a few hours or days.
Once you've set up your account, you'll need to deposit funds to buy Cardano with. We've listed out some popular ways to buy ADA and what you should know about each payment method.
Most exchanges let you buy as little as $5 worth of ADA, if not less. Just type in how much you want to spend in USD and let the exchange work out the rest.
Some platforms only offer 1 way to buy Cardano, while others provide several choices. The 2 most common ways to buy ADA are on the spot market or with an "instant buy" feature.
If it's your first time buying Cardano this will be the fastest method – but also the least cost-effective.
You'll usually find the instant buy section under a "Buy now" heading on the platform you've chosen.
It should feature a simple interface that lets you enter the amount of Cardano you want to buy, or US dollars you want to spend.
This is usually the only option available for credit or debit card purchases, but you may also be able to make an instant buy if you've pre-funded your account with a bank transfer.
Be prepared to pay a markup on ADA's market rate in exchange for the convenience.
If you see colorful charts with a range of prices, you're probably in the spot market.
The spot market is where buyers and sellers come together to place bids for ADA on the open market. It's usually the cheapest way to buy Cardano because it lets traders set their own price.
You'll find the spot market under a "Trade" or "Spot" heading on the site or app menu of the platform you've chosen to use.
There are several different order types that you can make on the spot market.
There are dozens of different trading platforms to choose from when buying Cardano in the US, so to help you find your best option, keep these factors in mind:
Crypto exchanges founded and based in the US are required to register with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), a division of the US Department of the Treasury. This bureau safeguards the US financial system by working to prevent money laundering, terrorist-financing activity and other financial crimes.
FinCEN-registered exchanges contribute to a more secure financial system in the US and provide you with better consumer protections compared to exchanges based in other countries.
Other reasons for using a FinCEN-registered exchange may include the following:
You shouldn't invest in any asset, including ADA without doing plenty of research first. Before you buy Cardano, make sure you understand and weigh up these risks:
Cardano is expected to finish 2022 worth $0.51, according to Finder's panel of fintech specialists. Looking further down the road, the panel thinks ADA will close out 2025 at $2.45 and 2030 at $5.37.
Compare today's price of Cardano ($0.409049 USD) against its all-time high (ATH) price of $3.09 USD on September 02, 2021. The closer the bar is to 100%, the closer ADA is to reaching its ATH again.
If you hold Cardano as an investment, you'll be taxed on any capital gains you make when you sell it — which includes spending it on goods and/or services. In the US, tax obligations also apply to mining, professional Cardano trading and in a range of other scenarios, so make sure you're fully aware of what you need to report to the IRS.
If you want to buy Cardano, start by comparing a range of crypto brokers and exchanges available in the US. Look at their features, fees, security and overall reputation to decide which platform is the right fit for you. Use an exchange registered with FinCEN for added peace of mind.
Remember that owning and using Cardano is not without its risks. Carefully consider investing in ADA as part of a wider strategy, and talk to a financial advisor if you have any questions.
Once you've bought some ADA, think about what your short and long-term goals are. This will help you decide whether to keep it on an exchange, or move it to your own wallet.
Follow our step-by-step instructions to get started buying ADA on a trading platform such as eToro or CEX.IO.
To use the ADA you've bought, you'll have to transfer it from the exchange you purchased it onto a non-custodial Cardano wallet first.
If you already have a funded account set up with an exchange such as CEX.IO or eToro, you can buy ADA almost immediately.
Otherwise, many crypto exchanges also offer an "instant buy" feature using a credit card, but be warned that this comes with higher fees and other added risks. Use our table to look for a platform that offers credit card deposits to get started.
How you sell your Cardano varies depending on whether you want to sell it for another crypto or cash out back to US dollars. One of the most straightforward options is to use a platform with ADA trading pairs, like one of the options listed in our comparison table.
Ultimately, it's up to you to decide which way is best for you to buy Cardano, but our top picks are a good place to start your research.
If you're buying some ADA just to speculate on its price in the short term, you might want to purchase it on an exchange or app that custodies the asset for you, like CEX.IO.
If you plan to hold your ADA for a longer term, consider sending it to a cold storage hardware wallet to keep the private keys to your ADA safely offline.
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Disclaimer: Cryptocurrencies, including Cardano, are speculative, complex and involve significant risks – they are highly volatile and sensitive to secondary activity. Performance is unpredictable and past performance of ADA is no guarantee of future performance. Consider your own circumstances, and obtain your own advice, before relying on this information. You should also verify the nature of any product or service (including its legal status and relevant regulatory requirements) and consult the relevant Regulators' websites before making any decision. Finder, or the author, may have holdings in the Cardano or any other cryptocurrency discussed.
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