Having been a mainstay in the top 10 cryptocurrency market capitalization since December 2017, ADA – the crypto token of the Cardano blockchain – is poised to make a run at the market leaders. The next generation blockchain technology has many people excited about its potential growth over the next several years. Some even project it to overtake Ethereum, sooner rather than later.
To get in before the next bull run, you’ll want to know how to get your hands on ADA tokens. This guide is going to show you how to do that, so you can start trading on a popular exchange like Binance.
What is Cardano?
Dubbed part of “Blockchain 3.0”, Cardano is a smart contract platform aiming to be an extension of what Ethereum started. The platform was founded by Charles Hoskinson, one of the original core team of Ethereum.
Cardano utilizes a Proof of Stake consensus mechanism, an alternative to the power-hungry Proof of Work systems used by earlier blockchain iterations. It consists of two layers – the Cardano Computational Layer (CCL), on which smart contracts and decentralized applications are run. And the Cardano Settlement Layer (CSL), an accounting layer which employs ADA to provide complex financial applications.
The scope of what Hoskinson and his team are attempting to do with Cardano is why it has generated so much hype. Not only are they trying to create a self-sustainable, decentralized computing system. ADA and the Settlement Layer focus on bringing financial services to the billions around the world living in emerging markets with little to no access to reliable banking systems.
According to IOHK, the company working behind Cardano, explains that the project is a blockchain platform with advanced features that aims at solving many of the issues faced by other blockchain networks, including Ethereum (ETH).
Now let’s see how to get your first ADA tokens, and start trading.
Keeping crypto held on an exchange is risky. For that reason, you’ll want to get a secure wallet that supports ADA, to hold your coins while not trading.
The Daedalus wallet is currently the only wallet to officially support Cardano. Developed by the Cardano team themselves, Daedalus is an open-source desktop wallet. The future roadmap for Daedalus calls for the addition of Android and iOS versions and support for more coins such as Bitcoin and Ethereum. It will eventually become an app store for decentralized apps built on the Cardano blockchain.
To get the Daedalus wallet, head to their website and download it for free. Set up secure authentication and your recovery phrase, and once the wallet syncs with the Cardano blockchain, you’ll be ready to go.
As Cardano’s market share grows, it’s possible more will add Cardano. The Ledger Nano S, one of the most popular hardware wallets today, has announced plans to add Cardano, though as of writing this no date has been specified.
There are many other Cardano wallets in the market that were developed by many companies. Some of them include the ADA Lite Wallet, Infinito Wallet, Yoroi and Trezor Wallet. The best thing to do is to always store virtual currencies in hardware wallets.
How to Buy Cardano
While the ADA token is not as accessible as other Large Caps (particularly Bitcoin, Ethereum and Bitcoin Cash), you can still get your hands on it quite easily. The best method depends on whether you want to buy in (paying for ADA with Fiat, such as USD or EUR), or you already hold crypto and are looking to trade your existing coins to Cardano.
I already hold crypto
If you’re already invested in cryptocurrency, and are looking to trade or move some of your portfolio into ADA, you’ll need an exchange that lists ADA. While not all exchanges have support for Cardano trading, there are certainly a number of high-volume exchanges that do. Huobi and Bittrex are two examples, as is the world’s largest crypto exchange, Binance.
Binance is a great place to trade crypto, as they offer trading between Bitcoin or Ethereum for almost every coin worth knowing about.
If you haven’t signed up yet, you’ll need to create an account.
Binance is one of the best platforms to purchase digital currencies because it is one of the largest exchanges in the market. There are hundreds of different trading pairs and Cardano has a large liquidity in this exchange. Cardano can be exchanged on Binance for ADA/BNB, ADA/BTC, ADA/ETH, ADA/PAX, ADA/TUSD, ADA/USDC and ADA/USDT.
This cryptocurrency exchange registered a trading volume of $698 million in the last 24 hours, which makes it the 9th largest exchange in terms of trading volume according to data provided by CoinMarketCap.
The registration is a similar process to any crypto platform. Enter your details, set up your security measures and authentication (2-Factor Authentication is always recommended for the most security), and submit several KYC documents.
Once you are logged in and your account has been verified, you’ll need to make a deposit to Binance. Since Binance doesn’t offer crypto purchases with Fiat, you’ll have to deposit crypto to the platform. Bitcoin or Ethereum is best, as these coins can easily be exchanged directly for the altcoin of your choice. You can deposit altcoins too, but they’ll have to be converted to a coin like Bitcoin or Ethereum before you can buy Cardano.
Binance will give you an address to send whatever crypto you wish to deposit. Make sure you double check the address is correct before sending, and make sure you only send the specified coin. I.E., if you’re depositing in Bitcoin, send only Bitcoin to that address, nothing else.
Once you’ve made a deposit to Binance, you can start trading.
Click on the “Exchange” link in the header to start trading. It will offer you two options, a Basic or Advanced view. The Basic exchange is recommended for most.
Once you’re in the Exchange, search in the top right for “ADA”. You can search for pairs with Bitcoin, Ethereum, USD Tether or Binance Coin (Binance’s native cryptocurrency).
Once you’re here, you’ll have several in-depth pricing charts for the pair you’ve chosen. Underneath the charts, you have the option to buy or sell ADA.
You can choose how much you want to buy, and the transaction will be completed within minutes. You also have the option to trade a specific percentage of your Binance wallet for ADA (25%, 50%, 75% or 100%), or set a Stop-Limit order. The Stop-Limit order will automatically execute a trade to buy or sell when the coin hits a price you specify.
I don’t hold any crypto/want to buy more
At this stage, very few exchanges offer direct ADA-Fiat pairs, which can make it a little tricky for beginners to start trading ADA.
Binance has also released a new service that allows purchasing some cryptocurrencies using a credit card. This is something similar to what Coinbase is currently offering to its users.
Coinmama is the savior for investors looking to get into crypto through ADA. Cardano is one of the 8 coins they have available to purchase with credit or debit card. After signing up and completing the KYC process, Coinmama users in almost 200 countries can instantly buy crypto with either USD or EUR.
The alternative is to purchase a coin like Bitcoin or Ethereum on an exchange with Fiat pairs – such as Kraken or Liquid. Once you have either BTC or ETH, you can deposit to Binance and start trading ADA.
It is very important for users to withdraw funds from the exchange after purchasing the digital currencies. That means that once the user has its ADA tokens, the best thing to do is to withdraw the funds to a personal wallet. The best thing to do is to always use a hardware wallet such as Ledger Nano S and Trezor, among others.
There are Other Platforms
You can always buy Cardano (ADA) from other platforms. Everything depends on your needs, the services they offer and the coins that are available. It is also worth taking into consideration that not all exchanges are available everywhere around the world. You should search for the best platforms available in your region.
This is just a guide that focuses on Binance, but each of the exchanges has similar procedures. Thus, this guide could eventually be applied to other exchanges that have a standard onboarding system for users.
At the time of writing this article, Cardano is the 13th largest digital currency in the market and it has a market capitalization of $1.34 billion. In addition to it, each ADA can be purchased for $0.0516.
As more exchanges add ADA pairs, and the Cardano platform comes out with more development initiatives, the price could very well reach the heights of January 2018 again… or even more. Now is a great time to invest in Blockchain 3.0.