How to buy ADA? A Practical Guide to Buying ADA Cryptocurrency

Paul Sazan
| Editor:
April 9, 2024
9 min read

Introduction to Cardano

In the world of cryptocurrencies, there are many players. Yet, few have captured attention quite like Cardano. With its unique approach to scalability, security, and sustainability, it's no wonder people are curious about how to buy Cardano.

What is Cardano?

Cardano is a public blockchain platform. It's open source and decentralized, with consensus achieved using proof-of-stake. It can facilitate peer-to-peer transactions with its internal cryptocurrency, ADA. Cardano was founded in 2015 by Ethereum co-founder Charles Hoskinson. The development was begun in 2015 led by the company IOHK. In contrast to Bitcoin, which is a proof of work cryptocurrency, Cardano uses proof of stake, which is less resource-intensive.

Cardano's goal is to allow “changemakers, innovators and visionaries” to bring about positive global change. The open-source project is not managed by any single individual, but by a community of experts who have helped to develop the protocol. For a more detailed understanding, you can refer to our article about what Cardano is.

How does Cardano differ from other cryptocurrencies?

Cardano sets itself apart from other cryptocurrencies in several ways. First, it's built on a "peer-reviewed" blockchain. While other platforms rely on a community of developers to vet and implement changes, Cardano uses a network of academics and scientists from universities including the University of Edinburgh and Tokyo Institute of Technology to review its protocol and upgrade proposals.

Second, Cardano has a unique two-layer architecture: the Cardano Settlement Layer (CSL) and the Cardano Computation Layer (CCL). The CSL manages the cryptocurrency ADA, and enables users to send and receive ADA coins from one wallet to another. The CCL is a set of protocols that run smart contracts and decentralized applications on Cardano. This two-tier architecture separates the ledger of account values from the reason why values are moved from one account to the other, providing more flexibility for developers and users.

Third, Cardano uses a unique proof-of-stake consensus algorithm called Ouroboros. Unlike proof-of-work cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, which rely on miners to validate transactions and create new blocks, Ouroboros allows ADA holders to help validate transactions and earn rewards. This approach is intended to be more energy-efficient.

In comparison with other cryptocurrencies like Ethereum or Solana, Cardano's proof-of-stake consensus, peer-reviewed blockchain, and two-layer architecture make it a compelling choice for those interested in blockchain technology. For a more detailed comparison, you can refer to our articles on Solana vs Ethereum and Solana vs Polygon.

Understanding ADA, Cardano's Native Cryptocurrency

When diving into the realm of Cardano, it's crucial to also grasp the concept of ADA, Cardano's native cryptocurrency. This section will elucidate what ADA is and how it's used within the Cardano ecosystem.

What is ADA?

ADA is the native cryptocurrency that powers the Cardano platform. Named after Ada Lovelace, a 19th-century mathematician recognized as the first computer programmer, ADA serves as more than just a medium of exchange.

Being a digital currency, ADA shares common traits with other cryptocurrencies. It's decentralized, meaning it's not controlled by any single authority. It's also built on a blockchain, which provides transparency and security for all transactions. However, what sets ADA apart is its role within the Cardano platform, which leads to an understanding of how ADA is used within the Cardano ecosystem.

How is ADA used within the Cardano ecosystem?

Within the Cardano ecosystem, ADA serves multiple purposes. Firstly, it acts as a digital currency, enabling users to conduct transactions or store value. Yet, ADA's functionality extends beyond that of a traditional cryptocurrency.

One of the key uses of ADA is as a stake in the network's consensus mechanism. Cardano uses a Proof-of-Stake (PoS) mechanism, where ADA holders can 'stake' their coins to validate transactions and earn rewards.

ADA also serves as the power for running smart contracts and applications on the Cardano platform. This means developers need to hold and utilize ADA to deploy their applications on the Cardano network.

Finally, ADA is used as a voting tool for the Cardano community to influence the development of the platform. Cardano's goal is to create a self-sustaining ecosystem where ADA holders can vote on development proposals and thereby direct the future evolution of the platform.

Understanding how ADA functions within the Cardano ecosystem provides insight into its potential as more than just a digital currency. It is a key component of the Cardano platform, playing a crucial role in maintaining, running, and governing the ecosystem.

How to Buy Cardano (ADA)

Acquiring Cardano (ADA), the native currency of the Cardano platform, is a straightforward process that involves three main steps: setting up a cryptocurrency wallet, finding a cryptocurrency exchange, and purchasing ADA.

Step 1: Setting up a Cryptocurrency Wallet

Before you can buy Cardano, you'll need a place to store it. This is where a cryptocurrency wallet comes into play. A crypto wallet is a digital wallet that allows you to store, send, and receive cryptocurrencies like ADA.

There are several types of cryptocurrency wallets, including hardware wallets, software wallets, and online wallets. Each type of wallet offers a different level of security, convenience, and control.

When choosing a wallet, consider your needs and preferences. If you prioritize security and don't mind a less user-friendly interface, a hardware wallet might be the best option. If you want ease of use and convenience, an online wallet may be more suitable.

Regardless of the type of wallet you choose, always remember to keep your private keys safe. These keys are your access to your cryptocurrency and losing them can result in permanent loss of your assets.

Step 2: Finding a Cryptocurrency Exchange

The next step to buy Cardano is to choose a cryptocurrency exchange. A crypto exchange is a platform that allows you to buy, sell, and trade cryptocurrencies.

When selecting an exchange, consider factors like security, transaction fees, payment methods, and the availability of ADA on the platform. It's also helpful to look at user reviews and the reputation of the exchange in the crypto community.

Once you've chosen an exchange, you'll need to create an account. This typically involves providing some personal information and going through a verification process.

Step 3: Purchasing ADA

After setting up your wallet and exchange account, you're ready to buy ADA. The exact process may vary slightly depending on the exchange, but generally, you'll need to:

  1. Log in to your exchange account.
  2. Navigate to the section for buying cryptocurrencies.
  3. Select ADA from the list of available cryptocurrencies.
  4. Enter the amount of ADA you want to buy.
  5. Choose your payment method and complete the transaction.

After the purchase, the ADA will be deposited into your exchange account. You can then transfer the ADA to your wallet for safekeeping.

By following these steps, you can easily buy ADA and start exploring the possibilities of the Cardano platform. Remember, investing in cryptocurrencies involves risk, so it's important to do your research and make informed decisions.

Purchase Cardano in Atomic Wallet

Now that we've covered the basic steps of buying Cardano, allow us to offer you a simple way to do these steps all in one place. We are talking of course about the 'Buy Crypto' tab of Atomic Wallet. Using Atomic as your Cardano Wallet has a lot of benefits.

Atomic Wallet is decentralized

Also referred to as non-custodial, decentralized wallets allow you to interface with the Cardano blockchain directly, without the middleman. That means that you can send and receive ADA in your Cardano Wallet without any additional charges from our side.

Atomic Wallet is a cold wallet

It means that your ADA private key is stored and encrypted on your device. A private key is what you use to sign a transaction. In other words, you cannot send out your Cardano without private keys. We do not store your private keys on a server or in some kind of database. Only you are in charge of your crypto assets.

Atomic Wallet is anonymous

None of the basic features of our wallet (sending, receiving, storing, or staking your cryptocurrency) require a KYC procedure. We do not collect your IP address, email, or any other personal information.

24/7 live support

In case you encounter any issues or have any questions, you can contact us at any time and we'll help you out.

Atomic Wallet is a multi-currency wallet

You are not limited to just Cardano, it can also serve as a Solana wallet, Polygon wallet, etc.


Staking is a great way to earn passive income on your investment if you don't intend to spend all of your cryptocurrency right away. Think about staking as a sort of bank deposit, only you are still in charge! If you don't want to stake for a long time, some assets that are available for staking are not locked, so you can transfer them at your convenience.


A fully decentralized swap service coupled with the previously mentioned benefits of Atomic Wallet when it comes to security allows for a safe trading environment. Best part? More than 500 assets are available for swap so that you never miss out on profitable trade opportunities.


Get up to 1% cashback on all your swap and purchase operations. Simply buy Cardano or any other cryptocurrency and get a nice cash bonus that we pay out in our own token - AWC.

How to buy Cardano in Atomic Wallet?

First of all, set up a wallet. It's a fairly easy process that is described in detail here. Once you're done, go to the 'Buy Crypto' tab in the left sidebar. If you're on mobile, find the 'Buy' button at the bottom panel. Here's what it looks like:

Buy Cardano tab in Atomic Wallet

Here you can choose how much cash you're willing to spend purchasing Cardano and how much ADA you're going to get. Once you've settled on the number you're willing to invest, tap 'Continue'.

Credit or debit card info

The next step is, of course, is providing the information relating to the payment. In Atomic Wallet, you can buy Cardano with a debit card or a credit card. Thus the next screen will require you to provide your credit or debit card info, your name, the numbers on the back, all the usual stuff.

Buy Cardano payment information screen in Atomic Wallet

Next, it's time to provide additional information. The billing address, residential information, ID, etc.

Why exactly do we need this information? Technically, we do not. All the purchases with fiat currency are processed by our partner - Simplex. To comply with the international regulators, they have to get this information to make sure you're not involved in money laundering schemes or anything like that. Which leads us to our next step.

Simplex will take some time to verify your data. They will look at the info you provided and see if it matches the ID documents you sent. The verification is thorough and careful, but it doesn't last too long.

Once the verification is complete, your Cardano (ADA) is sent to you. Keep in mind, that transactions on the blockchain may take some time. The speed of a transaction will depend on the network congestion. Sometimes transactions take only a few moments.

Here's a more detailed guide on how to buy crypto in Atomic Wallet.

Are there any fees?

While the basic functionality of our wallet does not have any additional fees, there is a flat 2% fee ($10 min) that you'll have to pay if you buy cryptocurrency with fiat. You should also keep in mind that banks sometimes have additional fees for the processing of crypto-related operations. The best way to clarify that issue is to contact your card issuing bank directly.

Can I sell ADA in Atomic Wallet?

Thanks to our built-in swap feature you can not only buy Cardano but also sell it in the wallet itself. You can sell Cardano for USDT, TRX, NEAR,or any other cryptocurrencies.

Can I cash out to my bank account?

Unfortunately, it's not yet possible to cash out from Atomic Wallet directly, as the app doesn't support crypto-to-fiat conversions. We recommend using other services to convert your crypto.

Can I buy Cardano elsewhere?

Indeed! If you don't feel like sharing your personal info or don't want to use your credit card, you can find a platform that suits you, buy Cardano there and transfer it to Atomic Wallet for safekeeping.

Buy Cardano today

We hope this guide gives you a clear understanding of how to buy Cardano and make your first steps in the cryptocurrency world. Or you prefer the convenience of Atomic Wallet where you can invest, buy and sell all in one secure decentralized wallet.

Regardless of your choice, buy Cardano today and become familiar with one of the most lucrative assets in the world.

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