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How to Buy Cardano | Buy ADA in 4 Steps (July 2024)

Updated on is committed to rigorous editorial standards. We may receive compensation when you click on links to products we review. Please view our affiliate disclosure. Trading involves risk which may result in the loss of capital.

Cardano (ADA) is a public blockchain and Dapp development platform. The platform earned international media attention as the first blockchain to incorporate a peer-reviewed research strategy into its core principles.  Today, ADA is one of the top cryptocurrencies in the world.

To learn more, visit our Investing in Cardano guide.

How to Buy Cardano (ADA) in 4 Steps

The whole process can take as little as 10 minutes, and all you'll need is a smartphone or computer, photo identification, and a means of payment.

  1. Compare Crypto Exchanges – We list the top cryptocurrency exchanges that offer the ability to buy Cardano (ADA) cryptocurrency.
  2. Create an account – Verify your email address and identity.
  3. Make a deposit – Debit Card, Credit Card, Wire Transfer, or Bitcoin.
  4. Buy Cardano – Use your funds to Buy ADA.

We feature the top 6 exchanges that offer the option to buy Cardano (ADA) with a credit card, debit card, or Bitcoin.

1. Uphold

Uphold is a commission-free desktop and mobile trading platform that gives you access to, and the opportunity to trade Cardano (ADA) and dozens of other cryptocurrencies. They have been in operation since 2014 and now boast a very credible reputation with more than 1.5 million users worldwide.

One of the most unique features offered by the company is that you can trade directly across asset classes. This vastly improves efficiency and allows you to avoid any unnecessary conversion fees. So, if you want to trade Bitcoin for gold, or vice versa, Uphold is the place you can do that.

The services spread on Cardano (ADA) and other cryptocurrencies ranges from 0.8% to 1.2% depending on the asset. This is the only fee you will have to think about though with Uphold being completely transparent and charging no commission.

Best of all they offer ADA staking opportunities.

Germany & Netherlands residents are prohibited.

Read Review →

Visit Uphold →

Uphold Disclaimer: 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..

2. Paybis

Paybis is designed for simplicity and is an extremely trustworthy starting point for buying Cardano (ADA) and other cryptocurrencies.  This exchange has been operating since 2014 and has assisted numerous traders in beginning their crypto trading journey, offering the convenience of purchasing with just a credit or debit card.  Unlike other exchanges where you buy tokens from other users, with Paybis you purchase directly from the exchange, making the process much simpler and smoother.

Paybis is a truly global company offering services to residents from 180+ countries including Canada, Europe, UK, & USA.

The fees you will encounter here are good value and competitive with others in the sector depending on the payment method you use.

FinCEN Department of the Treasury, United States of America Money Service Business Registration: 31000224635628.

Read Review →

Visit Paybis →

3. Kraken

Founded in 2011, Kraken is one of the most trusted names in the cryptocurrency industry with over 9,000,000 users and over $207 billion in quarterly trading volume.

From humble beginnings, Kraken now offers over 200 digital assets including Cardano (ADA). For more sophisticated investors Kraken also offers futures and margin trading.

Kraken has continued to evolve its platform, and its commitment to the industry by being one of the first exchanges to offer buying opportunities on new tokens.

Kraken offers trading access to over 190 countries including Australia, Canada, Europe, and is our most recommended exchange for USA residents. (Excluding New York & Washington state)

Read Review →

Visit Kraken →

4. KuCoin

KuCoin is a well-known name in the industry, and one of the most competitive when it comes to fees and trading costs. The exchange has grown exponentially from its early days of offering only crypto to crypto trading.  It now offers a varied range of services including a P2P exchange capability, and purchasing with credit or debit cards.

KuCoin currently offers Cardano (ADA) cryptocurrency trading as well as over 300 other popular tokens.  It is often the first to offer buying opportunities for new tokens.

USA residents are prohibited.

Read Review →

Visit KuCoin →

5. Binance

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

This exchange is best for investors residing in Australia, Singapore, UK & internationally. Canadian & USA residents are prohibited.

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Visit Binance →

Use Discount Code: EE59L0QP for 10% cashback on all trading fees.

6. HTX

Established in 2013, HTX has since become one of the world’s largest digital asset exchanges, with an accumulated trading volume of US $1 trillion. Having once accounted for half of the world’s digital asset transactions, HTX now serves more than 5 million users in over 130 countries around the globe. It should be noted that HTX currently does not accept USA or Canadian residents.

HTX is one of the top exchanges that currently offer Cardano (ADA) trading opportunities.

Read Review →

Visit HTX →

7. WazirX

Launched in 2018, WazirX is India’s biggest cryptocurrency exchange with over 6,000,000 users, and is expanding rapidly.

It is one of the most reputable exchanges to currently offer Cardano (ADA) trading opportunities and currently accepts clients from all over the world. This exchange is part of the Binance Group, which ensures a high standard of quality.

USA residents are prohibited.

Read Review →

Visit WazirX →

What is Cardano (ADA)?

Cardano is a blockchain-based network, which utilizes its own native token, ‘ADA’.

Cardano touts itself as the first network of its kind to be ‘peer-reviewed’.  This means that prior to any changes being implemented to the network, a growing global group of respected scientists, from various fields, assess any proposed upgrades.

What does it do?

Through the use of its native token, ADA, users gain the ability to transact directly with others.  This means that there is no need for a third-party ‘middleman’.  Rather, users have the ability to transact peer-to-peer.

In time, the Cardano network is scheduled to support a wide variety of decentralized applications.

How does Cardano (ADA) work?

Cardano functions through the use of a Proof-of-Stake (PoS) model.  This means that the network does not make use of miners, as seen in networks like Bitcoin.  Instead, any network participant holding ADA –known as stakeholders- in a supported wallet, has the ability to validate transactions.  Rewards for this vary, based upon the size of one’s holdings.

Through the use of a unique approach, named Ouroboros, Cardano adds a new layer to PoS.  This is done through stakeholder pools.  For those utilizing this option, holding rights can be pooled with others, allowing for a ‘stake pool manager’ to manage block production.

Projected Developments?

Development of the Cardano network is a multi-stage process, which has only just begun.  Named after famous and influential scientists, philosophers, and more, there are 5 main markers along the Cardano roadmap.  These are,

  1. Byron – This first stage of development surrounds establishing the foundation of the network, preparing it for the growth expected in the coming years.
  2. Shelley – Once a solid foundation is built, this second stage is expected to bring changes, surrounding/increasing decentralization of the network.
  3. Goguen – When sufficient decentralization of the network has occurred, stage 3 will bring the capability for the network to support smart contracts and dApps.
  4. Basho – The fourth stage of the Cardano roadmap will see developments surrounding the scalability and interoperability of the network.
  5. Voltaire – As the fifth and final stage currently planned, it will concentrate on the implementation of a new governance model. The goal of which is to make the network self-sustaining.  This will be achieved through various upgrades, such as the implementation of, both, a voting and treasury system.

Underlying Ideology?

For Cardano, it would appear as though the network is being built to offer much of the same capabilities of rivals, such as Ethereum.  The difference, however, is an emphasis being placed on a few traits.

  • Environmental impact – Many networks have recognized the negative impact that energy-intensive protocols, like proof-of-work, can have. By utilizing PoS in the manner that Cardano has chosen, the network requires significantly less power to operate.
  • Openness and transparency – Cardano indicates that as a peer-reviewed blockchain, network participants benefit from more than just a well-built product. They also benefit from new levels of openness and transparency in their operations, and the direction/progression of the network.

Acceptance and Controversies?

To date, Cardano has had minimal levels of both acceptance and controversy.

While the network’s native token, ADA, can be found on many exchanges, this is arguably the biggest adoption seen, thus far.  Until smart-contract capabilities go live on the network, this will most likely remain the case.

To date, the Cardano network has managed to avoid most controversies.  The most commonly noted issue with the network is the lack of decentralization.  As mentioned before, this is expected to change with the implementation of stage 2 on the Cardano roadmap.

There are a select few that have raised issues with, what they call, ‘plausible assumptions’, made in the Cardano whitepaper.  Essentially, the foundation of the Cardano network was built with various assumptions on how it will adapt to future levels of adoption.  Some are believers, while others are not fully convinced that the network will function as intended.


To date, there have not been any official statements made on Cardano by regulators.  As a result, the project does remain in somewhat of a regulatory ‘limbo’.

Unless an official statement is made, otherwise, there remains a chance that ADA will be viewed as a security.  Those that believe this may be the case, typically provide two points for their argument.

  1. The network is not decentralized at this point.
  2. While restricted to U.S. residents, Cardano was initially funded through an ICO.

Who Made It?

In 2017, Cardano was launched by Charles Hoskinson.  As a co-founder of Ethereum, Hoskinson brought immediate clout and intrigue to the project, and its native token ‘ADA’.

Daniel is a big proponent of how blockchain will eventually disrupt big finance. He breathes technology and lives to try new gadgets.