The Cardano blockchain platform and its internal cryptocurrency, ADA, were launched in 2017 by one of the co-founders of Ethereum blockchain.
Like most cryptocurrencies, the price of Cardano ADA has fluctuated significantly since it was created and is currently ranked as the seventh-largest coin by market cap. The value of Cardano ADA peaked at more than $US3 in September 2021 before falling to around $US.50 (correct at time of publication).
The volatility of crypto assets has led the Federal Government’s corporate regulator, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), to issue warnings to would-be investors. The watchdog says anyone who buys cryptocurrencies should be cautious about the asset’s extreme volatility and associated risks.
But if you understand the risks and you’re looking to buy Cardano (ADA), here’s how you go about it.
Choose an exchange
To buy Cardano (ADA), you’ll need to use a crypto exchange to swap your fiat (Australian dollars) currency for cryptocurrency. An exchange is a website or app that crypto buyers and sellers use to make trades.
There are many exchanges to choose from, including big names such as Coinbase and eToro Australia, as well as local exchanges, such as Swyftx Exchange.
When choosing an exchange, there are a few things to consider:
- what payment methods are accepted? Most exchanges allow credit and debit card card deposits, as well as bank transfers or even BPAY on some occasions.
- what are the fees? Some payment methods attract fees, especially if you’re engaging with an overseas exchange that attracts conversion fees.
- how secure is the exchange? Has it ever been hacked?
- does the exchange offer an integrated wallet? Cryptocurrencies are stored in crypto wallets, and some exchanges offer an integrated wallet.
- can I transfer to an external wallet? Some exchanges allow you to transfer your assets to third-party wallets or so-called ‘cold’, offline storage devices.
- are there fees for transfers out? Where withdrawals are permitted, there may be fees applied
- What currencies can be traded? Some exchanges allow you to trade in more than 650 cryptocurrencies, while others offer fewer than 100. If you want to buy Cardano ADA, you’ll need to check if it’s available on your preferred exchange.
Choose a payment method
Next, you’ll need to decide how you’re going to pay for your Cardano ADA.
Be sure to check if there are any fees associated with the payment method you want to use. For example, US-based Coinbase charges no fees on bank transfers but 3.99% on debit card payments. Fees for credit card payments on other exchanges often run at least this high.
Credit card payments on these exchanges are typically classed as cash advances, which means they attract interest at a much higher rate of interest than a normal purchase, and it is charged from the point the transaction is made, regardless of whether you pay off your balance in full when it comes due.
Place an order
Once you’ve created and funded your account, navigate to the Cardano ADA page in the app or website and enter the amount you’d like to invest.
Choose a storage method
Most exchanges come with an integrated wallet in which to store your Cardano ADA. However, you may prefer to hold your assets in a third-party wallet.
You can use either a ‘hot’ wallet, which uses online storage, or a ‘cold’ wallet, which is an offline storage device such as a flash drive or a hard drive.
The former is more vulnerable to hackers, but offers support in accessing your Cardano ADA if you lose your access codes.
Cold wallets are inherently more secure because they’re not connected to the web and can’t be reached by hackers. If you lose the access codes to the assets in a cold wallet, however, there’s no customer support to help you recover them, which means you could lose access to your currency.
This article is not an endorsement of any particular cryptocurrency, broker or exchange nor does it constitute a recommendation of cryptocurrency as an investment class.