How to Buy Cardano (ADA)

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Contributor, Benzinga
October 6, 2023

Want to jump straight to how to buy Cardano? You can buy ADA on Uphold!

One of the biggest problems legacy blockchains face when adapting to new demand is scalability. Both Ethereum and Bitcoin are proof of work cryptocurrencies with intentionally small blocks that only allow for a few transactions per second (this is needed for security). Proof of work consensus also uses extreme amounts of electricity as a way to make malicious behavior costly.

Cardano uses an eco-friendly proof of stake (PoS) consensus model to secure its blockchain, and some speculate the project will be an alternative payment method to Bitcoin. However, the cryptocurrency more closely competes with Ethereum, as it seeks to build a more scalable decentralized finance ecosystem. The Cardano blockchain uses a native cryptocurrency asset called ADA to power its platform, whose price indirectly reflects demand for space on the blockchain.

Find out about more about Cardano's blockchain and how to buy Cardano (ADA) today.

Disclosure: ²Sum of median estimated savings and rewards earned, per user in 2021 across multiple Coinbase programs (excluding sweepstakes). This amount includes fee waivers from Coinbase One (excluding the subscription cost), rewards from Coinbase Card, and staking rewards. ³Crypto rewards is an optional Coinbase offer. Upon purchase of USDC, you will be automatically opted in to rewards. If you’d like to opt out or learn more about rewards, you can click here. The rewards rate is subject to change and can vary by region. Customers will be able to see the latest applicable rates directly within their accounts

What is Cardano?

Cardano is a public blockchain for settling payments that recently completed its "Alonzo" hard fork which introduced smart contracts onto the network. Much controversy has surrounded the launch of these smart contracts, as they didn't immediately lead to booming decentralized finance and NFT ecosystem. However, some Cardano applications are finally rolling out, with many more planned for the rest of 2022. This may lead to a boom in demand for Cardano block space.

Cardano's blockchain uses proof of stake to verify transactions that come across the network. Coin holders can stake their ADA for the right to verify transactions and earn the transaction rewards. Cardano uses a tiny sliver of the energy that Bitcoin does at the cost of centralization. When it comes to blockchains, decentralization is equivalent to security.


Understanding Proof of Stake

“Stakers” in a proof of stake (PoS) network are like the miners in proof of work (PoW) network. Staking avoids the energy-intensive algorithms run by PoW miners who race to verify the chain’s integrity. Instead of using intensive computing to incentivize truthfulness, stakers lock up tokens which can be slashed for misbehavior. This results in a similar incentive structure with drastically less energy consumption.

Brief History of Cardano

Charles Hoskinson was 1 of 8 co-founders of Ethereum, but, left the project in 2014 when Vitalik Buterin opted to make Ethereum a non-profit organization. This disagreement led Hoskinson to start his own smart contract blockchain competitor, known as Cardano. Cardano began development in 2015 and launched in 2017, although smart contracts are still not supported by the network.

Cardano opted to launch its network with multiple layers. The Cardano settlement layer handles ADA transactions, while the Cardano Computation Layer handles smart contracts. The Cardano Settlement Layer launched in 2017 along with the ICO of its native asset, ADA, which conducted its initial coin offering at $0.02 per token. Since then, ADA has appreciated over 2500% making it one of the largest cryptocurrencies by market cap.

How to Buy Cardano (ADA)

  1. Open an online exchange account.

    Since Cardano is a top cryptocurrency project, it's offered on most large exchanges. Coinbase is a solid option, and they offer simple user interfaces that are easy for anyone to get started on.

    After you have your information ready, choose an exchange that supports the purchase and transfer of ADA. If you aren’t sure where to begin, consider a few of our top choices listed below. 

  2. Buy a wallet (optional).

    If you're purchasing Cardano as an investment, then you'll want to protect it by keeping it in a wallet where you manage the private key. After you purchase ADA from your exchange, they'll typically hold custody of your funds. This is convenient for trading, however, leaving it on the exchange makes it much more vulnerable to hacks.

    Your best bet for the most security it to purchase 1 of the cold storage wallets listed below. Cold storage means your private key will never touch the internet and cannot be stolen that way. Just make sure to follow the guidelines for backing up your cold storage wallet in case you lose it.

  3. Make Your Purchase

    Now that you've set up a funded exchange account and have a safe place to store your valuable coins, it's time to convert some USD to ADA. Simply navigate the Cardano page on your exchange and make your purchase.

Take a look at some of the cryptocurrency brokers and exchanges that offer ADA.


  • securely through Uphold Crypto's website
    securely through Uphold Crypto's website
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    Terms Apply. Cryptoassets are highly volatile. Your capital is at risk.

Uphold is one of the Internet’s best cryptocurrency trading platforms. Its vareity in supported assets from 200+ cryptos to precious metals to stocks is nearly unmatched. From Bitcoin to Cardano to Chainlink, Uphold makes it exceptionally simple to buy and sell major cryptocurrency pairs. 

Though Uphold doesn't have the lowest fees, it's close and its simple platform is easy enough for complete beginners to master in as little as a single trade.

*Terms Apply. Cryptoassets are highly volatile. Your capital is at risk. Don’t invest unless you’re prepared to lose all the money you invest. This is a high-risk investment, and you should not expect to be protected if something goes wrong.

Best Crypto Wallets for ADA

You shouldn't store your cryptocurrency assets on an exchange, as they're large targets for hackers. Exchanges hold custody of your crypto, so if a security breach occurs you could be left coinless. To mitigate this risk, you should store your cryptocurrency in a dedicated wallet. The 2 most popular types of crypto wallets are hardware and software wallets.

Software wallets are free to use, and you can download them on your phone or desktop. While these wallets are generally secure, the safest way to store crypto is on a hardware wallet. Hardware wallets store cryptocurrency offline, making it impossible for online hackers to access your funds. Check out our top cryptocurrency wallet picks to store your crypto safely.

Best for Mobile Use: Ledger Nano X

If you’re looking for a one-stop-shop for all of your crypto cold storage, the Ledger Nano X might be the right choice for you. The Nano X supports over 1,200 individual cryptocurrencies, and you can install upwards of 100 decentralized apps on your device. 

The Nano X even offers Bluetooth compatibility, which makes it easier to transfer your coins after you make a new purchase. With a wide range of application choices, highly secure cold storage and easy connectivity features, the Nano X’s $118 price tag can be worth the expense.

Trade or Sell Your Cryptocurrency

After your order closes, you’ll need to decide whether you want to become an active cryptocurrency trader or if you want to hold onto your coins and sell them at a later date. If you want to trade your cryptocurrency, keep track of how the Cardano market is moving and convert it to a stablecoin (like Tether) when the price rises to lock in gains. 

Most cryptocurrency traders then hold onto their stablecoin until the price of Cardano falls again. Some cryptocurrency traders play the markets to accumulate more coins, while others are short-term traders looking to lock in profits in fiat currency.

If you decide to hold onto a chunk of your Cardano for the long haul, you should move your coins to a cold storage wallet. This provides you with private key necessary to access your coins and mitigates the possibility of being hacked. When you decide to sell your coins, transfer your coins from your cold storage back to your trading account and convert them back to fiat currency. 

Current Crypto Prices

After a lull in the markets over the 2nd half of 2021, the cryptocurrency industry has seen newfound traction in 2022. Most cryptocurrencies are up from their local low prices just a few months ago, and bullish sentiment has entered the market once again. With Bitcoin ETFs recently being approved by the securities and exchange commission (SEC), many investors are bullish on the asset class as a whole. Checkout the table below for real-time cryptocurrency prices.

Is Cardano a Good Investment?

Bitcoin and Ethereum currently use the energy intensive proof of work consensus model, however Ethereum plans to upgrade to proof of stake as a part of its major Ethereum 2.0 upgrade which is supposed to be completed in 2022. In the meantime, Cardano has a chance to steal new traffic that would have otherwise been built on Ethereum.

This can't happen until Cardano supports decentralized applications at scale, which was supposed to happen by the end of 2021. With Cardano not delivering on its roadmap, there may be better Ethereum alternatives out there, such as Solana and Avalanche. Regardless, Cardano's ADA token has performed well in 2021, and will more than likely continue to yield high returns throughout the remainder of the bull run.

Frequently Asked Questions


When did Cardano reach its all time high (ATH)?


Cardano reached its all time high of $3.10 in September 2021.

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