How to Buy Cardano (ADA)

With its low current valuation of just over $1, Cardano – trading symbol ADA – is rapidly emerging as one of the most popular cryptocurrencies. It’s sometimes referred to as the “Ethereum of Japan”, but it’s become popular worldwide.

Not all trading platforms accommodate cryptocurrency and even those that do – not all trade Cardano. But we’ve put together a list of companies where you can buy and sell Cardano.

Table of Contents
  1. What is ADA?
  2. How to Buy ADA 
  3. Where to Buy Cardano (ADA)
    1. Coinbase
    2. eToro
    3. Kraken
    4. SoFi Invest
    5. Webull
  4. Final Thoughts

What is ADA?

Cardano was launched in 2017 as an alternative to Bitcoin. It’s considered a second-generation crypto because it attempts to overcome some of the limitations and glitches associated with Bitcoin and some other cryptos. For example, it attempts to facilitate a more secure blockchain, while providing a better balance between user privacy and regulation by authorities.

In addition to its low price, much of the attraction of this crypto is the dramatic price activity in the past 12 months.

With the price at just over $0.18 at the end of 2020, it peaked at $2.46 in May, before retreating down to $1.12 more recently. Even with its recent decline, Cardano is still up about 600% so far in 2021.

The kind of price action Cardano has provided makes it a popular choice among traders. And it’s still very low price holds the potential for explosive future growth.

How to Buy ADA 

Just as is the case with other cryptocurrencies, you won’t be able to buy or sell Cardano through banks or investment brokers (though we will list a couple of investment brokers that do accommodate crypto trading later in this guide). If you’re interested in trading or holding ADA, you’ll need to work with one of the very limited number of platforms that can accommodate this crypto.

You’ll need to open an account with a crypto exchange – or an investment broker that allows crypto trading and includes ADA – then follow the procedures they outline for that investment.

Once you create an account you’ll need to fund it, most typically by linking a bank account to the exchange or brokerage. However, most exchanges will allow you to transfer crypto from other exchanges, or any that you hold on a digital wallet. Most will also enable you to exchange one crypto for another. For example, you may be able to exchange Bitcoin for an equivalent amount of ADA.

Where to Buy Cardano (ADA)

The most popular place to buy Cardano, or any other cryptocurrency, is through a cryptocurrency exchange. But in researching the various exchanges, not all offer trading in Cardano. For example, some popular exchanges, like Gemini and Binance, don’t offer trading in this crypto. 

But below is a list of cryptocurrency exchanges where you can trade this digital currency. We’ve also included two investment apps where you can not only trade Cardano, but also hold other, more conventional investments on the same platform. 

We do need to advise that one of the consistent limitations of crypto exchanges, and even brokerages where you can trade crypto, is limited customer service access. Most offer only email or live chat, but no phone contact. It seems to be an industry standard.

Coinbase

Coinbase is one of the most popular cryptocurrency exchanges. It has more than 56 million verified users and supports crypto trading in over 100 countries. Quarterly volume of crypto trading has reached an incredible $335 billion.

It’s an excellent choice for trading ADA or other cryptocurrencies, especially for large volume traders who will get the benefit of some of the lowest trading fees in the industry. And for crypto investors at all levels, Coinbase enables you to trade in almost 70 different cryptos, which is one of the largest selections in the industry.

But one of the biggest advantages with Coinbase is the access you’ll have to your crypto funds. The account comes with a Visa debit card that allows you to spend against your crypto balance. They also offer a stablecoin, equal to $1. Meanwhile, you can take advantage of a digital wallet on the platform, or provide your own. (Digital wallets give you the ability to store crypto, then easily transfer it to and from other exchanges.)

Coinbase even offers you an opportunity to earn crypto on your crypto. This is done through a process known as crypto staking. By participating in the process, which involves helping to secure transactions on the network, you can earn up to 5% APR on staking of Ether (ETH) (but not ADA or other cryptocurrencies).

Minimum Initial Investment: $2

Number of cryptocurrencies offered: 69

Digital wallet provided: Yes, or you can use your own

Fees: $0.99 or 0.05% to 4.00%, based on the dollar amount of the transaction

Funding options: Linked bank account ACH or wire transfer; PayPal; direct deposit/transfer of cryptocurrency

Debit card access: Yes

Mobile app: Yes

Customer service: Webmail only, no phone access

Learn more about Coinbase

eToro

eToro is fast rising as another very popular crypto exchange. The platform has been around since 2007, which makes it one of the better-established crypto exchanges in the industry. Much like Coinbase, eToro has a large international presence, offering its services in 140 countries.

What may best distinguish eToro as a crypto trading platform is its CopyTrader technology. This is a social trading platform, which enables you to copy the trading activities of some of the most successful crypto traders on the eToro network. That’s an excellent option for new crypto traders, looking to “learn the ropes” of crypto trading.

They even offer several “CopyPortfolios”, which is something like a robo-advisor for crypto investing. It similarly takes advantage of copy trading to get the best investment results. 

But if you’re already an experienced and successful trader, you can be paid to allow others to copy your trading activity.

eToro has another important benefit for new crypto traders, and those looking to improve their results. They offer their virtual portfolio, which enables you to paper trade up to $100,000 before committing real money to trading.

Minimum Initial Investment: $50, with a minimum trade of $25

Number of cryptocurrencies offered: 17, including ADA

Digital wallet provided: Yes

Fees: Spreads ranging from 0.75% for Bitcoin to 5.00% on other cryptos; 2.90% for Cardano.

Funding options: Online banking and wire transfers.

Debit card access: Yes

Mobile app: Yes

Customer service: Open a ticket on the app (response time up to seven days), plus live chat 24 hours a day, Monday through Friday; no phone support is offered.

Here is our full eToro Review.

Learn more about eToro

Kraken

Kraken is another fast-rising crypto exchange. Not only do they offer their services to traders in the US, but also to investors in more than 170 countries globally. You can trade more than 50 different cryptos, including ADA. And like Coinbase, Kraken offers crypto staking, give you an opportunity to earn income from participation on the exchange. They claim you can earn rewards of up to 7% on your staking activity. 

What might separate Kraken from other crypto exchanges is that they offer margin trading. That includes leverage of up to five times your equity. That can give you – for example – the ability to make a $1,000 crypto investment with just $200 in cash.

Kraken is one of the few crypto exchanges that doesn’t offer investors a digital wallet. That means you’ll need to use your own digital wallet to store your cryptos. Other than the modest cost of the digital wallet, that’s really not a disadvantage. Having your own digital wallet is the most secure way of holding cryptos, in addition to being completely portable between crypto exchanges.

Minimum Initial Investment: $10, but trades based on crypto have a minimum order size, which is 25 ADA

Number of cryptocurrencies offered: Over 50

Digital wallet provided: No

Fees: Using Kraken Pro: Maker fees, 0.00% to 0.16%; taker fees, 0.10% to 0.26%

Funding options: Bank transfers and wires from a linked bank account; direct deposit/transfer of cryptocurrency

Debit card access: No

Mobile app: Yes

Customer service: 24/7 live chat; no phone support offered

Here’s our full review of Kraken.

Learn more about Kraken

SoFi Invest

SoFi is best known for student loan refinances. But they branched out to provide financial services across-the-board, and are now one of the most comprehensive financial platforms anywhere. In addition to student loan refinances, they now provide personal loans, home loans, insurance, and credit cards. They even offer consultations with financial advisors, free of charge.

But they also offer investing through SoFi Invest. There, you have an opportunity to invest in individual stocks, options, and exchange-traded funds (ETFs) commission-free. They even offer their own robo-advisor – SoFi Automated Investing – if you prefer having your portfolio professionally managed. This service is also free of charge.

But in addition to all the other services and investment options SoFi provides, you can also trade cryptocurrencies. In fact, you can trade 20 different cryptos, including ADA, all at a low flat percentage fee. 

That will give you the ability to trade crypto on the same platform where you hold other investments, all while managing other areas of your financial life.

However, SoFi invest is not a crypto exchange, which means you can only trade crypto on the platform. No wallet is offered, which means it doesn’t provide the ability to transfer crypto to or from the platform. Even so, SoFi can be a perfect platform to trade cryptos, along with other investment activities.

Minimum Initial Investment: $10 for cryptos, $0 for conventional investments (but $5 minimum to invest)

Number of cryptocurrencies offered: 20, including ADA

Digital wallet provided: No

Fees: Up to 1.25% of the total amount of cryptocurrency purchased

Funding options: Bank transfers and wires from a linked bank account; check or account transfer/rollover

Debit card access: Yes, but doesn’t extend to access to crypto holdings

Mobile app: Yes

Customer service: Phone, Monday through Thursday, from 5:00 AM to 7:00 PM, and Friday through Sunday, 5:00 AM to 5:00 PM, all times Pacific

Learn more about SoFi Invest

Webull

Much like SoFi invest, Webull is an investment app where you can engage in commission-free trading of stocks, options, and ETFs. But you can also trade cryptos, including ADA. They offer a spread on crypto trading, based on a flat basis point format, making pricing simple. You can begin investing in crypto with as little as $1.

Webull is a trading app, designed for experienced traders looking to execute fast, simple trades on the go. And much like SoFi Invest, it doesn’t offer a digital wallet, or the ability to connect one. That means you won’t be able to transfer crypto to and from your account.

Minimum Initial Investment: $1 for cryptos; $0 for all other investments

Number of cryptocurrencies offered: 8, including ADA

Digital wallet provided: No

Fees: 100-basis point spread for both purchases and sales of cryptos; commission-free trades of stocks, options, and ETFs

Funding options: Transfers and wires from linked bank accounts

Debit card access: No

Mobile app: Yes

Customer service: Email + 24/7 online help

Here’s our full Webull review.

Learn more about Webull

Final Thoughts

This is a good time to remind readers that investing of any sort does involve risk. That’s especially true when it comes to investing in cryptocurrency, which is generally believed that have a higher level of risk than more conventional investments, like stocks, bonds, and funds.

Cryptocurrencies are a new investment, only having arrived in the past decade or so. And it’s only recently that they’ve been gaining mainstream acceptance from the financial community as investments at all.

The biggest risk is the wide fluctuations in price. A crypto that trades at $10 today, can rocket to $100 in three months, then drop to $20 one month later.

But if you can handle the massive price risk inherent in cryptocurrency trading, Cardano (ADA) may be one of your better options. Its low price, in combination with its recent popularity as an investment, have the potential to make this crypto a big winner in the future.

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About Kevin Mercadante

Since 2009, Kevin Mercadante has been sharing his journey from a washed-up mortgage loan officer emerging from the Financial Meltdown as a contract/self-employed "slash worker" – accountant/blogger/freelance blog writer – on OutofYourRut.com. He offers career strategies, from dealing with under-employment to transitioning into self-employment, and provides "Alt-retirement strategies" for the vast majority who won’t retire to the beach as millionaires.

He also frequently discusses the big-picture trends that are putting the squeeze on the bottom 90%, offering workarounds and expense cutting tips to help readers carve out more money to save in their budgets – a.k.a., breaking the "savings barrier" and transitioning from debtor to saver.

Kevin has a B.S. in Accounting and Finance from Montclair State University.

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