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How to buy Cardano (ADA)

Find out all about Cardano and the Ada cryptocurrency.

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Cardano is a proof-of-stake blockchain designed for smart contracts and dApps, led by Ethereum co-founder Charles Hoskinson.

Designed to be an Ethereum competitor, Cardano began development in 2015, and launched as a testnet on 29 September 2017. The mainnet, called Goguen is slated for launch in April 2021 which will bring long-awaited smart contract functionality to the platform. Despite its relatively slow development process, Cardano’s native ADA token is one of the most popular coins on the market.

Disclaimer: This information should not be interpreted as an endorsement of cryptocurrency or any specific provider, service or offering. It is not a recommendation to trade.

Where to buy Cardano ADA tokens

Cardano ADA tokens are listed on many popular exchanges. Find out which exchange is best for you by comparing deposit methods, fiat currency support and more.

Name Product Deposit methods Fiat Currencies Cryptocurrencies
Binance Cryptocurrency Exchange
Bank transfer (ACH)
USD, AUD, GBP, EUR, RUB, TRY, NGN, UAH, PHP, CZK & 20+ more

304
cryptocurrencies

Trade an extensive range of reputable coins on this world-renowned exchange, popular for its high liquidity and multi-language support.

US residents: As of September 2019, US-based users can only trade USD on the American dollar onramp of Binance, Binance.US.
UK residents: In addition to normal crypto trading services, Binance offers margin lending. As this is a regulated activity which they are not authorised to offer in the UK, we advise you not to use this service. If you're interested in margin trading, see authorised providers.
eToro Cryptocurrency Trading & CFDs
Bank transfer, Credit card, Debit card, Neteller, PayPal, Online banking, Skrill
EUR, GBP, NZD, USD, AUD, CAD, HKD, SGD, CHF, NOK & 5+ more

19
cryptocurrencies

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StormGain Cryptocurrency Exchange
StormGain Cryptocurrency Exchange
Cryptocurrency
USD, EUR, AUD, CHF, CZK, DKK, GBP, HUF & 5+ more

23
cryptocurrencies

Stormgain aims to make cryptocurrency trading easy, and also lets you buy crypto with fiat via Simplex.

UK residents: In addition to normal crypto trading, Stormgain offers margin lending. As this is a regulated activity which they are not authorised to offer in the UK, we advise you not to use this service.
CEX.IO Cryptocurrency Exchange
Bank transfer, Credit card, Cryptocurrency, SWIFT, SEPA, Faster Payments (FPS)
USD, EUR, GBP, RUB

22
cryptocurrencies

Disclaimer: Highly volatile investment product. Your capital is at risk.
Use your USD, EUR or RUB to buy and sell cryptocurrency at competitive exchange rates and with high maximums for verified accounts.
Coinmama Cryptocurrency Marketplace
Bank transfer, Credit card, Cryptocurrency, Debit card
USD, EUR, AUD, CAD, GBP, JPY

10
cryptocurrencies

Founded in 2013, CoinMama lets you buy and sell popular cryptos with a range of payment options and quick delivery.
Bittrex Global
Bank transfer, Credit card, Cryptocurrency, Debit card
USD

273
cryptocurrencies

Buy from one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges with a selection of over 190+ cryptocurrencies and 3 USD pairings.
CoinSwitch Cryptocurrency Exchange
Credit card
USD, JPY, RUB, EUR

386
cryptocurrencies

CoinSwitch allows you to compare and convert over 250 cryptocurrencies across all exchanges.
KuCoin Cryptocurrency Exchange
Cryptocurrency, Interac e-Transfer, PayPal, Wire transfer, Credit or Debit Card
USD, EUR, GBP, RUB, CNY, AUD, KRW, JPY, TRY, VND & 40+ more

211
cryptocurrencies

Finder Exclusive: Get up to 10 USDT in trading fee rebates for signing up and making a deposit, and up to 30 USDT in trading fee rebates after buying with fiat. T&Cs apply.
Browse a variety of coin offerings in one of the largest multi-cryptocurrency exchanges and pay in cryptocurrency.
OKEx Cryptocurrency Exchange
Bank transfer, Cryptocurrency, iDEAL, PayPal, POLi, SEPA, Faster Payments (FPS)
USD, CNY, EUR, ARS, AUD, BGN, BRL, CAD, CHF, COP & 20+ more

270
cryptocurrencies

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Listing over 100 cryptocurrencies, OKEx offers its users a variety of payment methods and coins to choose from.
Huobi Cryptocurrency Exchange
AdvCash, Cryptocurrency, SWIFT, Wire transfer
GBP, USD, AUD, EUR, INR, BRL, KHR, CAD,CNY, NZD & 15+ more

219
cryptocurrencies

Huobi is a digital currency exchange that allows its users to trade more than 190 cryptocurrency pairs.
Bithumb Cryptocurrency Exchange
Cryptocurrency
KRW

118
cryptocurrencies

A global platform where users can make KRW and cryptocurrency deposits to purchase up to 15 popular cryptocurrencies.
Gate.io Cryptocurrency Exchange
Cryptocurrency
-

37
cryptocurrencies

Hotbit Cryptocurrency Exchange
Hotbit Cryptocurrency Exchange
Cryptocurrency, Epay
USD

512
cryptocurrencies

A multi-currency exchange with 150+ pairings that can be accessed through desktop as well as a mobile app.
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Cardano wallets & storage

Once you purchase ADA, you may want to move it to a wallet to keep it safe.

Cardano offers a purpose-built wallet called Deadalus. It’s a secure multi-function desktop wallet that can be exported to a paper wallet for extra security. Currently it only supports ADA, but will eventually offer multi-cryptocurrency support.

To make using Deadalus more secure, you may want to use it with a hardware wallet that keeps your private keys secure on a hardware device.

Compare hardware wallets

What is Cardano and how does it work?

Note: Cardano is still under development. Not all of the features described below are active at the time of writing.

Cardano is entirely open source and created from the ground up with the goal of being the most practical cryptocurrency ever made. Some of its features, such as the Cardano blockchain and Daedalus wallet, were purpose-built from scratch and designed to be better than anything else currently available.

One of the main features of the Cardano system is the multi-layer design:

  • The settlement layer. This is the layer that operates the ADA tokens.
  • The computing layer. This layer can run smart contracts, recognise individual users and perform other functions.

Bitcoin and most other cryptocurrencies have all of these functions in one layer. This multi-layer system brings some features that traders may find useful.

  • Upgradeability. The system has been specifically designed to allow for relatively smooth and easy upgrades with soft forks. The multi-layer design allows for each layer to be forked and upgraded separately.
  • Adaptability. The computing layer can be adapted in various ways without affecting ADA. For example, to help meet different regulatory requirements in different countries without needing to make one-size-fits-all changes to the ADA cryptocurrency.
  • Privacy with compliance. Users can get privacy for their transactions even though the computing layer is able to recognise individuals. This system is designed to offer a level of anonymity while still allowing compliance with laws around the world.
  • These layers are supported by the Cardano treasury, which receives a portion of newly minted ADA and transaction fees.

    Cardano mining

    Cardano uses an entirely new mining algorithm called Ouroboros. According to its developers, it’s the first proof-of-stake mining algorithm that’s been mathematically proven to be secure.

    Did you know?

    How proof of stake works

    Most cryptocurrencies use “proof of work” mining, in which miners compete to solve problems, produce the next block and win a reward for doing so. By contrast “proof of stake” mining works by picking a semi-random stakeholder to solve the next block, with larger stakeholders (contributors with more ADA) more likely to be chosen.

    This can potentially offer quicker and cheaper transactions, plus the benefits of being more energy-efficient.

    The problem is finding a truly reliable and random way to pick the stakeholder to make a block. According to its developers, Ouroboros solves this problem.

    Is Cardano trustworthy?

    Cardano is entirely open source and patent-free. All its source code is publicly available for scrutiny. People interested in Cardano may find that this not only assists development but also means any problems can be highlighted quickly. It’s also fronted and developed by some publicly accessible and widely known names.

    • The Cardano Foundation: A Swiss-based non-profit designed to serve as a standards body for the Cardano protocol as it evolves over time and to interface with regulators in different markets.
    • IOHK: A well-known engineering company dedicated to peer-to-peer financial services innovations. IOHK is behind most of Cardano’s technology.
    • Emurgo: A registered company formed to interface between Cardano and businesses by offering Cardano as a blockchain business solution.

    Things to consider before purchasing Cardano

    The developers claim that Cardano is purpose-built to be the only cryptocurrency the world needs, offering an exceptional range of features and usefulness. In particular, it’s designed to work well with regulations and to be accessible to almost anyone, with the ability to tweak functionality to suit local laws and regulations.

    Despite Cardano’s lofty goals, it faces stiff competition. Since Cardano began in 2015, many new blockchains have come online with similar goals and are already capable of onboarding users while Cardano’s development lags behind by comparison.

    The implementation of the Goguen mainnet in 2021 is likely to be a pivotal moment for Cardano, with the addition of smart contracts and dApps giving it a real chance to compete in the now saturated smart contract (base-layer) market.

    Did you know?

    Ada supply

    • Max supply: 45 billion ADA
    • Ada currently in circulation: About 32 billion ADA
    Disclaimer: Cryptocurrencies are speculative, complex and involve significant risks – they are highly volatile and sensitive to secondary activity. Performance is unpredictable and past performance 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 cryptocurrencies discussed.

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