You’ve been following the cryptocurrency boom and want to get involved. After doing a bit of research, you’ve decided Cardano (ADA) is the right coin for you.
It’s a good choice. The coin is more energy-efficient than Bitcoin, offers lightning-fast transactions, has cheap fees, and can be staked for a passive income.
The next question, therefore, is where can you buy Cardano? Keep reading to discover how to purchase ADA and start your investing journey.
Binance is the most well-known cryptocurrency exchange in the world. Founded by Changpeng Zhao in 2017, it now has tens of millions of users around the world.
The main Binance website is available almost everywhere in the world, with the notable exception of the US.
If you live in the US, you need to use Binance’s dedicated portal: Binance.US. ADA is available to buy on Binance.US, but the service is lacking some of the features of the main app—including fewer coins available to buy and no margin trading.
Other features on Binance include staking (the ability to earn interest on the crypto you own), pooled mining access, and access to the Binance Launchpool for newly released coins.
The standard fee to buy Cardano on both Binance platforms is 0.1%. Both Binance platforms allow you to withdraw your ADA and keep it in a hardware wallet.
Coinbase is perhaps the most beginner-friendly cryptocurrency exchange. Unlike Binance, it does not focus on trading—so you won’t be overwhelmed with price charts and other data that newbies cannot understand.
Instead, you just need to enter your card details, pick the coin you want, and buy it.
Aside from the ability to buy Cardano, Coinbase has some other noteworthy features. For example, you can apply for a Coinbase credit card that will pay you cashback in crypto when you spend on it. Moreover, you can borrow money using your crypto as collateral, and you can even get paid in crypto for taking Coinbase’s educational courses.
The biggest downside of Coinbase is the fees. You can expect to pay 4% when making an ADA purchase using your credit or debit card, while the trading fee when swapping between cryptocurrencies is around 0.5%.
A second downside is the severely limited number of coins available. While the list has grown substantially in the last couple of years (there are now more than 50 available), the number still lags way behind dedicated crypto exchanges. As your commitment to crypto grows, and you want to diversify your assets further, you might find that you need to migrate to a more substantial platform.
Owned and operated by Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss (the twins who famously sparred with Mark Zuckerberg over the legalities concerning the creation of Facebook), the Gemini platform offers one of the best ways to buy Cardano for anyone based in the US.
The service appeals to both beginners and experienced crypto users thanks to its option to either use a simple click-to-buy approach or use a full-featured trading portal.
Like Coinbase, Gemini offers a credit card that you can use to get money back. At the time of writing, you can get 3% cashback on all purchases and can earn rewards in Bitcoin (or any other cryptocurrency) via the Gemini web app.
Gemini also offers a service called Gemini Pay. It works in much the same way as Google Pay and Apple pay, allowing you to spend your crypto easily in regular retail stores around the country. More than 30,000 shops in the US currently support the feature.
Fees on Gemini include a 0.5% “convenience fee” and up to 1.49% for transactions.
Kraken is a well-established crypto exchange that recently passed its 10th birthday. It is also considered to be one of the most secure exchanges and is one of only two with a perfect rating on the independent Crypto Exchange Ranks (CER) review site (the other being a relative minnow, Whitebit).
Using Kraken to buy Cardano is a blessing and curse, depending on which approach you use. For experts, the full-featured crypto exchange offers some of the most competitive fees you will find. For newcomers, however, who might only want to use the Instant Buy function, the costs are much higher.
You can expect to pay around 2% when using Instant Buy, meaning that if you are in the US, the 0.5% fee on Binance.US is a much more attractive way to buy ADA.
Like Binance, Kraken restricts access to some features to anyone in the US. Those restrictions include staking and margin trading (unless you have a high-value account).
If you are not based in the US and are already knowledgeable about crypto, Bitfinex is a great place to purchase ADA. Sadly, no one in the US can use the app.
You need the existing knowledge because Bitfinex does not support purchases with your credit or debit card. Instead, you have to transfer existing crypto onto the platform from another service to be able to start using it. As such, it is not suitable for complete beginners.
However, if you already have crypto that you can transfer over, you can enjoy access to hundreds of coins (including many small-cap coins that are not available on Binance). You can also benefit from margin trading, staking, lending, and borrowing.
Fees on Bitfinex start at 0.1% for transactions of all sizes. If you hold the LEO coin, you can enjoy a 25% discount.
Can You Buy ADA on Robinhood?
It is also a terrible service to use to purchase crypto. However, despite many warnings against the practice, many users still turn to Robinhood to buy their crypto thanks to its ease of use and low fees. Cardano isn’t available on there, though—so if you are a Robinhood user, you will need to look elsewhere.
Even if Cardano becomes available on Robinhood in the future, we would recommend that you do not use the app. It does not support wallet withdrawals, and you do not have the private keys to access it—meaning that Robinhood owns your crypto, not you.
Plenty of Places to Buy Cardano
So, there you have it—we’ve now revealed our five favorite places to buy Cardano. While features will vary depending on where you live, the choices in this article should cover you in most corners of the world.
Cryptocurrency’s boom isn’t going away anytime soon, and Cardano’s energy-efficient approach means that its fanbase probably won’t disappear either. Give each of these apps a try to see which works best for you.
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About The Author
Dan Price (1611 Articles Published)
Dan joined MakeUseOf in 2014 and has been Partnerships Director since July 2020. Reach out to him for inquires about sponsored content, affiliate agreements, promotions, and any other forms of partnership. You can also find him roaming the show floor at CES in Las Vegas every year, say hi if you’re going. Prior to his writing career, he was a Financial Consultant.