How to buy Cardano (ADA) — A Beginner’s Guide

Cardano is an open-source, decentralized cryptocurrency that began in 2015 and only became available for trading on October 2017. In this post I’ll explain a bit about what Cardano is, its currency (ADA) and how to buy it online.

How to Buy Cardano Summary

Here’s how to buy Cardano (ADA):

  1. Get a Cardano wallet (Ledger Nano X, Exodus)
  2. Locate your ADA address
  3. Find an ADA exchange (, Binance. Coinbase)
  4. Withdraw the ADA to your wallet

That’s how to buy Cardano in a nutshell. If you want a deeper explanation of Cardano and the buying process keep on reading, here’s what I’ll cover:

  1. What is Cardano
  2. How to buy ADA in 3 steps
  1. Conclusion

1.What Is Cardano (ADA)?

Cardano is a decentralized third-generation proof-of-stake blockchain platform. While it shares characteristics and applications with other blockchain platforms like Ethereum, Cardano distinguishes itself from others through a commitment to peer-reviewed scientific research as building blocks for updates to its platform.

Three organizations are responsible for Cardano’s development: IOHK, Cardano Foundation, and EMURGO. The first two are non-profit foundations and the third is a for-profit entity. The IOHK, which is responsible for building Cardano, works with a team of academics spread out across the world to produce research and review platform updates before implementation to ensure that they are scalable.


  • Cardano is a blockchain and smart contracts platform with a cryptocurrency called “ada.”
  • Cardano has released products for identity management and product traceability.
  • Cardano uses Ouroboros — a proof-of-stake algorithm — to create blocks and validate transactions occurring on its blockchain.

2. Buying Cardano in 3 Steps

Step 1 — Choose a Cardano wallet

Cardano is a young project that’s still very much under development. For this reason, there are very few wallet options available for storing ADA, the Cardano currency.

Cardano Hardware Wallets

For storing ADA you can use Ledger hardware wallet in conjunction with AdaLite. Both Ledger models support this, but the Nano X also has mobile support. Alternatively, you can use the TREZOR Model T in conjunction with AdaLite.

Cardano Software Wallets

The easiest way to store ADA alongside other cryptocurrencies would be to use a free software wallet such as Exodus which is pretty intuitive and supports both desktop and mobile versions. Another great option is Atomic Wallet, a software wallet available for desktop and mobile that allows you to store ADA and over 300 additional cryptocurrencies. The wallet also allows you to exchange your assets via non-custodial Atomic Swap with a decentralized order book.

Finally, Daedalus is the official Cardano desktop wallet, Daedalus can be downloaded via its official website.

Locate Your Cardano Address

Once you have your Cardano wallet make sure to locate your ADA address. It’s a very long string of letters and characters that starts with a “D”. Here’s an example:


Step 2 — Buy ADA on an exchange

As Cardano matures more and more exchanges allow you to buy and trade ADA including several established market leaders:

Buy Cardano Through CEX

ADA has long been established in the top 20 cryptocurrencies by market capitalization and is very popular among investors and crypto enthusiasts. Therefore, there are many platforms that support this cryptocurrency and make it possible to buy ADA. If you decide how to buy Cardano coin and where, then one of the most obvious answers is a cryptocurrency exchange.

Before choosing a cryptocurrency exchange, you need to make sure that you can not only buy Bitcoin and buy Ethereum there, but it also supports ADA. In turn, you need to pay attention to the available payment options and the fact that fiat transactions are supported on the cryptocurrency exchange for your country.

For example, at CEX.IO there is a huge number of available payment options for buying ADA. Apart from debit and credit cards, you can also buy ADA with an international (SWIFT), domestic (ACH, SEPA, Faster Payments) bank transfer, and online wallets (Skrill).


Buying Cardano through Coinbase

Coinbase is one of the Internet’s largest cryptocurrency trading platforms. From Bitcoin to Cardano and Basic Attention Token to Chainlink, Coinbase makes it exceptionally simple to buy and sell major cryptocurrency pairs.

You can even earn cryptocurrency rewards through Coinbase’s unique Coinbase Earn feature. More advanced traders will love the Coinbase Pro platform, which offers more order types and enhanced functionality as well as lower fees.

Though Coinbase doesn’t offer the most affordable pricing or the lowest fees, its simple platform is easy enough for complete beginners to master in as little as a single trade.

Visit Coinbase

Buy Cardano Through Binance

Binance is one of the largest and most well-known cryptocurrency exchanges in the world. The benefits of purchasing Cardano (ADA) here is that you benefit from the lower exchange fees than competing exchanges, and the increased liquidity enables you to buy and sell quickly to take advantage of market moving news.

This exchange is best for Australia, Canada, Singapore, UK & international users. They do not sell Cardano (ADA) to USA residents.

Here’s how to buy Cardano on Binance:

  1. Sign up to Binance
  2. Go to “Funds” -> “Deposits” and locate your Bitcoin address
  3. Deposit Bitcoin to your Binance Bitcoin address
  4. Wait for the coins to show up in your account
  5. Go to “Exchange” -> “Basic”
  6. Search for the ADA/BTC pair
  7. Go to “Market” and type in the amount of ADA you want to buy
  8. Click “Buy ADA”

Visit Binance

Buy Cardano Through eToro

eToro is a cryptocurrency trading platform best known for its revolutionary “CopyTrader” technology. CopyTrader allows you to “copy” the moves of professional traders — simply select a trader from eToro’s professional trader community and click the “copy” button to instantly copy this trader’s moves going forward. This can be an excellent feature for investors who are new to crypto trading and not yet confident enough in their skills to rely on their own analyses.

In addition to CopyTrader functionality, eToro also offers a clean and intuitive interface that’s ideal for beginners, as well as access to 15 of the most popular coins.

Visit eToro

Buy Cardano (ADA) with Paypal

Advertising DisclosureFor those who are looking to buy Cardano with Paypal, FX Empire reviewed the best reliable cryptocurrencies exchanges in the market. Below is a list of the top exchanges that offer to buy Cardano with Paypal for your convenience. All you need to do now is choose your preferred exchange from the list below.

Step 3 — Withdraw the ADA to your own wallet

Once you’ve finished buying ADA make sure to move the coins to your own non-custodial wallet (i.e. a coin that gives you access to your private key). Leaving your coins on an exchange exposes you to the risk of fraud or theft (which have happened numerous times in the past). One the coins hit your wallet, you’ve successfully completed the process of buying Cardano.

3. Conclusion

Cardano is a cryptocurrency that continues to grow in popularity. While it’s still at an early stage, the project shows some promise and should become easier to buy, sell, and store as cryptocurrency enjoys more widespread adoption. It’s hard to say if Cardano will continue to stay in the top of the cryptocurrency list in the future, with such fierce competition from Ethereum, IOTA, EOS and others.



Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store