How To Buy Cardano (ADA): Where To Buy Cardano In 2020

Cooper HaywoodBy: Cooper Haywood
Published: January 8, 2020

While Bitcoin is the undeniable king of crypto it has limited functionality. Bitcoin is super secure and great for sending money around the world, but it can't be programmed the way a coin like Cardano can. Cardano supports smart contracts which opens the door to all sorts of exciting possibilities.

Cardano has a lot going for it and it can potentially make for a great investment if it ends up being the default smart contract platform in the cryptocurrency ecosystem. Ethereum has the lead for now but there's not telling how the crypto ecosystem will change in the coming years.

So with that in mind, let's look at out how to buy Cardano cryptocurrency, which cryptocurrency exchanges are best and how to buy ADA whether you're living in the USA or internationally.

What Exchanges Sell Cardano

While Cardano trades against Tether on more than a dozen exchanges, there are only a handful of exchanges which let you buy Cardano with dollars.

The San Francisco based Kraken is one of those exchanges. They allow their customers to fund their account with a bank transfer and then buy Cardano directly. Unfortunately Kraken does not allow their American customers to buy ADA with a credit card or debit card. Only Canadian customers can use their debit cards to buy Cardano.

For those wondering where to buy Cardano besides Kraken, Binance USA is another good choice. As of November 2019 they allow Americans to buy cryptocurrencies like Cardano with a debit card. That makes Binance USA a convenient choice for those looking to buy Cardano quickly with a minimum amount of hassle.

Of course Binance USA also lets their customers fund their wallet with a bank transfer. Unfortunately a bank transfer typically takes several days to clear. That can be a big deal in crypto where the price of a coin can change dramatically from one day to the next.

Binance State Bans and Binance for International Crypto Traders

Unfortunately Binance USA is not available in all states. Binance USA's list of blocked states includes: Alabama (AL), Connecticut (CT), Florida (FL), Georgia (GA), Hawaii (HI), Idaho (ID), Louisiana (LA), New York (NY), North Carolina (NC), Texas (TX), Vermont (VT) and Washington (WA).

Residents of those states may want to consider using Kraken instead. International customers who want to know how do I buy Cardano should consider registering on the original version of Binance. Outside of the United States Binance is open to citizens of dozens of countries and allows for fiat deposits with currencies like the Euro and the British Pound.

Where to Buy ADA with a Credit Card

Neither Kraken nor Binance USA supports buying Cardano with a credit card. However, buying ADA with a credit card is possible on some other platforms. Here's where to buy Cardano coin with a credit or debit card.

The most convenient website is CoinSwitch, which allows traders to buy Cardano with a credit card without creating an account. The only thing a user has to do is decide how much Cardano they'd like to purchase, tell CoinSwitch the ADA wallet that they'd like their coins sent to and then provide proof of identity. Proof of identity is required in order to ensure that a person is not using a stolen credit card.

CoinSwitch is also great for international investors as the website offers several fiat options for buying Cardano. For instance, CoinSwitch supports the Russian Ruble, the Australian Dollar and even the Japanese Yen.

CoinMama is another option for traders who are interested in buying ADA with a credit card. CoinMama is especially popular with European traders as they allow for Euro purchases. Unlike CoinSwitch, however, they do require traders to create an account with a valid email address before they can purchase Cardano ADA.

How to Buy Cardano with Bitcoin

For most people the easiest way to acquire Cardano ADA will be the Bitcoin method. That is, first buy Bitcoin and then trade it for Cardano. The disadvantage of acquiring Cardano in this way is that you have to pay a trading fee. Also, when you buy Bitcoin on one exchange and then send it to another, you may have to pay the withdrawal fee on the Bitcoin exchange.

Withdrawal and trading fees aside, using Bitcoin to buy Cardano is really simple and it allows traders to use a bunch of different payment options.

Buying Bitcoin and Trading for Cardano in the USA

The best way to buy Bitcoin inside of the United States is to use Coinbase. Founded in 2012, Coinbase has been around since the early days of crypto and they have an awesome track record of no major hacks. That's a big deal, especially considering that some extremely popular exchanges like Binance have been hacked.

Security isn't Coinbase's only selling point, however. What makes Coinbase so popular is their dead-simple user interface. Crypto is notoriously complex but Coinbase has made it their goal to make it as simple as possible to buy Bitcoin. They accept wire transfers, bank transfers and also debit cards as payment options.

When you buy Bitcoin on Coinbase with a bank transfer it can take four or five days for the funds to clear. If you want to withdraw the Bitcoin immediately, and send it to a wallet on another exchange, you should make the payment with a debit card. By doing so you can send the Bitcoin to another exchange and trade it for Cardano ADA within the hour.

Crypto Exchanges with Cardano Trading Pairs

Since Cardano is a popular coin with good name recognition quite a few exchanges support it. Exchanges like OKEx, Huobi, KuCoin and Bittrex all have ADA trading pairs.

There are also other exchanges which support ADA trades but it's important to research an exchange carefully before trading on it. Once you send any cryptocurrency to an exchange it is no longer under your control. The exchange may freeze withdrawals at any time, for a legitimate reason or not. As the famous maxim in crypto goes, "not your keys, not your coins."

Buying Bitcoin and Trading for Cardano Internationally

If you want to know where can I buy Cardano outside of the United States, in fact Coinbase is still probably the best option as they operate in more than 100 countries. CoinMama is also a great exchange for Europeans who would like to buy Cardano as an investment. As mentioned previously, CoinMama accepts several payment types, making it easy to get ADA.

Asian cryptocurrency enthusiasts might want to consider Binance, the most popular exchange (by trading volume) in the world. While Americans are banned from using Binance (the international exchange, not the US version), crypto traders in most Asian countries can register and buy Bitcoin with fiat.

The best way to find an exchange to buy Bitcoin (or any other cryptocurrency) is to look at CoinMarketCap under their market pairs section. The larger the exchange, the more likely they are to support a wide variety of fiat trading pairs.

How to Buy Cardano Locally

Would you like to know how to buy Cardano with cash? It's fairly simple, in fact it's quite a bit like using the Bitcoin method. The problem for Cardano enthusiasts is that there is no way to buy Cardano directly with cash. What is possible, however, is to buy Bitcoin or Ethereum with cash and then convert it to Cardano.

One of the most popular websites to use is LocalBitcoin. On this website it's possible to connect with a seller and meet them locally to buy Bitcoin with cash. Granted, this is typically only a viable option for crypto traders living in big cities. However, it's also possible to use a website like LocalCryptos which allows for bank transfers and even PayPal.

Of course, as with everything else in crypto it's important to do your due diligence. Read previous reviews to ensure that the person you're transacting with is not a scammer. Also, don't transact with anyone who has a new account.

There is one other option, also, for people who would like to buy crypto locally. Bisq is an up and coming decentralized exchange that facilitates local trades, as well as crypto trades via bank transfer.

How to Store Cardano

A lot of people are interested to find out where to store Cardano after they've bought it. They've heard that it's unwise to keep ADA cryptocurrency in an exchange wallet but they're not sure what the most secure wallet is. Well thankfully it's not that hard to store Cardano safely!

The best place to store Cardano ADA is in a hardware wallet like a Ledger Nano S or a Trezor Model One. These hardware wallets are about the size of a USB thumb drive and worth their weight in gold. They are an extremely affordable way for the average crypto investor to safely store their ADA cryptocurrency.

The main security feature of a hardware wallet is that a transaction cannot be approved digitally. That is, before coins can be sent a physical button must be pressed on the device. That means that a crypto trader can plug their hardware wallet into the world's most virus-ridden computer and their Cardano will be safe.

While some people are hesitant to pay for a hardware wallet, the unfortunate truth is that crypto theft is rampant and a Ledger or Trezor is the best possible way to protect your investment. For more information on hardware wallets please refer to this useful guide.

Using a Desktop Wallet

Another way to store your ADA coin is with desktop wallet. This is a digital-only wallet and while it's not quite as secure as a hardware wallet, it's cheaper and can be very safe so long as proper steps are taken.

One good option is the Daedalus wallet. This is Cardano's opensource wallet, designed for maximum security and flexibility. With the ability to choose custom themes as well as install plugins, Daedalus is a great Cardano ADA wallet. Naturally it's free to use, making it a good option for anyone on a budget.

One thing worth noting when it comes to Cardano security (or security for any cryptocurrency) is to always check the wallet address that you're sending the coins to. Although it is not that common, there is a computer virus which replaces cryptocurrency addresses stored on the clipboard with a different address.

That is, if you copy an address and then paste it somewhere else, the virus will replace the address so that the funds get sent to the hacker. That's why it's so important to always double check the wallet address before you hit the send button.

Best Security Practices for Storing Cardano

Whether it's a hardware or desktop wallet, when you create a new account you'll be presented with a 12 or 24 word seed phrase. It's extremely important to back up this seed phrase. In the event that you lose access to your crypto wallet (fire, flood, theft, etc.) the seed phrase will allow you to recover your funds.

Two things to keep in mind, however. Always keep the backup of your seed phrase in a separate physical location than where your hardware or software wallet (computer) is stored. That way something like a fire cannot destroy your crypto holdings.

Second, always write down your seed phrase on paper and make copies by hand. Never store your seed phrase anywhere on your computer or in your email. All of these can be hacked and if an attacker gets their hands on your seed phrase they can take all of your Cardano.

Cardano: 2020's Next Big Cryptocurrency

People want to know how to buy Cardano for good reason: it's a very promising cryptocurrency project. Often times the success of a project can depend on the person leading it. With Charles Hoskinson heading Cardano the future looks bright. He's an outspoken crypto advocate and the perfect person to push for the mass adoption of ADA.

Also, while Ethereum is working on Proof of Stake (POS), their solution may not be fully rolled out for another two years. In the blockchain world, where development is happening around the clock, two years is like a decade. Cardano, on the other hand, already has the Ouroboros consensus mechanism which they believe to be the best possible POS solution.

With 2020 shaping up to be the year of crypto now is the best time to buy. If you believe in Cardano it's a good idea to buy some before prices go higher. Now that you know how to buy ADA coin there's no excuse not to invest.

Finally, just as a small bonus, feel free to check out this visual Bitcoin block explorer that IOHK (Cardano's parent company) has created. It is quite possibly the most elegant block explorer ever created and a real testament to the creative and coding ability of Cardano's team. The smart contract war is far from over and it would be unwise to write off Cardano just yet; it could well prove the investment of a lifetime.

About the author
Cooper Haywood
Cooper Haywood
Cooper is a former equity research professional/finance analyst who holds an MBA in Financial Instruments and Markets from New York University's Stern School of Business. He left the investment banking world in 2015 to become a full-time investor and joined CoinFi as an analyst in 2019.