Buying Cardano (ADA) is your first step towards joining one of the blockchain industry’s most progressive and idealistic cryptocurrencies.
Led by Ethereum (ETH) co-founder Charles Hoskinson, the Proof-of-Stake (PoS) ecosystem is teeming with life and creativity. In fact, Santiment researchers recently declared that the Cardano network was the number one blockchain platform for development in 2023.
If you’re learning about the Cardano blockchain and are interested in buying the network’s native crypto asset, ADA, it’s important to compare the pros and cons of different cryptocurrency exchanges.
Let’s briefly summarize what makes Cardano so interesting and rank the top crypto exchanges listing this digital asset.
Table of Contents
What’s Special About Cardano?
First and foremost, Cardano is the first blockchain and smart contract platform to be developed from scientific philosophy and a research-driven approach.
Brought to life by the Cardano Foundation, Input Output, and EMURGO, Cardano stands on the shoulders of academic giants. It’s designed and built by a global team of expert engineers and researchers who have scrutinized and peer-reviewed every aspect of the platform.
One of the crowning features of Cardano is its Ouroboros consensus mechanism. This Proof-of-Stake model is a monumental leap towards energy efficiency, sharply contrasting against energy-intensive Proof-of-Work systems like Bitcoin (BTC).
Ouroboros is not only more sustainable and environmentally friendly but also offers enhanced security and scalability. Cardano users enjoy some of the lowest transaction fees in the crypto space, regardless of the network’s growing influx of crypto wallets.
At the heart of the thriving ecosystem is a vast range of Cardano dApps (decentralized applications). These creative platforms host unique Cardano smart contracts, breathing new life into the on-chain world of DeFi and NFT utility.
Choosing Where to Buy Cardano
Choosing the right platform to purchase Cardano is a critical decision. Different cryptocurrency exchanges have different strengths and weaknesses. Some are better equipped for onboarding crypto newbies, while others offer a comprehensive trading platform tailored for more experienced users.
In general, here’s what you should be looking for in a crypto exchange when buying Cardano:
High Volume and Liquidity
The lifeblood of any cryptocurrency exchange is trading volume and liquidity. An exchange boasting high trade volume for Cardano ensures you can execute trades swiftly and at prices that accurately reflect ADA demand.
Liquidity is equally crucial; it means that there are enough ADA tokens available to buy or sell without causing dramatic market volatility, granting you stability and predictability in your transactions.
Low Trade Fees
Every trade on an exchange comes with a fee, which can vary widely. Crypto exchange fees might seem inconsequential on a single trade, but they can accumulate significantly over time, especially for frequent or high-volume traders.
Exchanges with low trading fees help maximize your investment and ensure you’re not losing a fortune to transaction costs.
Simple User Experience
The best exchanges prioritize a seamless user experience that makes buying ADA a breeze. Almost all crypto exchanges offer a mobile app that helps you track ADA prices and monitor your positions.
A Good Variety of Deposit Options
Last but not least, let’s talk about convenience and flexibility. There’s no point signing up with an exchange and getting ready to buy Cardano only to find out they don’t support your preferred payment method.
As a rule of thumb, most exchanges support the typical onramps, including credit cards, debit cards, and bank transfers. It’s also important to ensure that your exchange of choice accepts your local fiat currency like USD or EUR.
Which Crypto Exchange Should I Use to Buy Cardano?
Amongst the fierce competition between cryptocurrency exchanges, who comes out on top in the eyes of ADA investors? Which trading platforms perfectly balance trading conditions with beginner-friendly services and functions to make buying Cardano easier than ever?
Let’s take a look:
When trading digital currencies, Binance is often the first port of call for many investors, and it’s no different for those looking to purchase Cardano. Binance reigns supreme as the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, offering a comprehensive platform that ticks all the boxes.
Binance begins with a low spot trading fee of 0.1%, which is among the lowest in the industry. This fee can be further reduced for those holding BNB, Binance’s native token.
The platform is known for its deep liquidity, which means ADA trades are filled efficiently without significant price slippage. On top of that, Binance handles around 3x more daily ADA trading volume than any other cryptocurrency exchange.
Binance doesn’t skimp on user experience. Its interface is designed to be intuitive, making navigation and trade execution a smooth process for all users. Beyond trading, the exchange also offers staking contracts where ADA holders can earn interest on their holdings.
KuCoin is a long-standing favorite amongst crypto traders thanks to its enormous range of altcoins. KuCoin is often one of the first top-tier exchanges to list emerging cryptocurrencies that larger platforms might hold back from. For example, KuCoin listed ADA as early as July 2019, while Coinbase didn’t offer ADA support until as late as March 2021.
Keeping competitive with its rivals, KuCoin keeps trading costs affordable with a fee structure that starts as low as 0.1% and decreases with higher trade volumes and holdings of its native token (KCS).
The trading platform ranks consistently high in daily ADA trade volume, offering good liquidity in stablecoin pairs such as Tether (USDT).
KuCoin’s platform is designed with the user in mind, balancing functionality and simplicity. Both novice and experienced traders find its interface approachable and are more than happy with the range of trading tools and features.
On top of that, KuCoin’s value-added features, like its staking platform, lending markets, and launchpad services, help users make the most of their time in the crypto space.
Next up, we have Kraken. One of the blockchain industry’s heavyweights, Kraken is an excellent first exchange. It boasts a clean and comfortable UI, a wide range of fiat currency trading pairs, and high-volume markets.
Kraken is a consistent high-performer, attracting plenty of trading volume within ADA markets. Its simplistic user experience makes it popular with beginners, and Kraken bank account withdrawal processing times are some of the best in the space.
Where Kraken begins to falter is in its trading fees. With maker fees starting from 0.16% and taker fees starting from 0.26%, users will find themselves losing value when compared to platforms like Binance or Kucoin.
Rounding out our list is none other than Coinbase itself. Brian Armstrong’s exchange has built a solid reputation as the best place for crypto newcomers to start their journey. For ADA bulls looking to purchase Cardano for the first time, Coinbase makes an excellent first port of call.
Coinbase’s iconic feature is its basic, intuitive interface. Even if you’ve never ventured into any financial platform, Coinbase will help you feel right at home. The exchange takes time to lay out every step of the process clearly and offers educational videos on dozens of crypto’s most popular digital assets.
However, the simplicity comes with a cost. Coinbase’s fee structure is on the higher end when compared to other platforms. Taker fees start from a whopping 0.6%, a significant jump from rival platforms like Binance and KuCoin.
On the Flipside
- Unless you’re a frequent trader or buying Cardano at big clips, you probably won’t notice the impact that trading fees have on your ADA holdings. Choose an exchange that you trust and enjoy using.
Why This Matters
Cardano is one of the most popular altcoins in the crypto market, alongside powerhouses like Ripple (XRP) and Solana (SOL). Taking the time to compare different exchanges will help you get your Cardano journey started on the right foot.
You can track the current price of Cardano, as well as other important figures like ADA token supply and market cap on CoinMarketCap.
If ADA were to hit $10, it would have a market capitalization of roughly 350B, making it larger than Ethereum (ETH). While this kind of price appreciation is not impossible, it would mean that ADA would need to surge 3x past its existing all-time high.