- Cardano was founded in 2017 by Charles Hoskinson, one of the co-founders of Ethereum.
- Cardano is the first crypto project founded on peer-reviewed research and developed through evidence-based methods.
- Using a multi-layered blockchain, where each layer performs a specific function, makes Cardano better equipped to scale over time.
- Although ADA is widely available on exchanges, there can be some hurdles to jump through to acquire it. Caleb & Brown has simplified the process by buying and trading ADA down to 4 easy steps.
What is Cardano (ADA)?
When the crypto and academic communities collide, you get Cardano.
Founded in 2017 by Ethereum co-founder, Charles Hoskinson, Cardano is an open-source, proof of stake (PoS) blockchain built from the ground up by bright minds in both crypto and academia. Using a first principles approach combined with scientific research methods, Cardano has grown to become one of the most highly valued blockchains.
Cardano differentiates itself from other blockchain projects through forming deep partnerships with leading academics and universities. In contrast to the ‘fail fast, pivot often’ modus operandi of the modern-day tech entrepreneur, Cardano takes a more methodical approach. Code upgrades are held to strict mathematical standards and painstakingly reviewed before implementation. Rather than failing publicly, the network opts to perfect every process first, even if it takes longer than intended.
Outside of this, the Cardano network is home to hundreds of native assets and decentralised applications (DApps). Many of which, have become live over the past 12 months as the network has attracted more developers. Like Ethereum, these apps and assets are made available through the use of programmable smart contracts.
ADA is the native cryptocurrency on the Cardano network, named after the 19th-century mathematician and world’s first computer programmer, Ada Lovelace. The network is also named after another famous mathematician, Geralamo Cardano.
You may hear the two names used synonymously, but it's not possible to actually buy Cardano. But you can buy the token that powers the network, ADA.
Since its launch, ADA has consistently held a position within the top 10 cryptocurrencies by market cap.
Recommended Reading: What is a Layer 1 Blockchain?
What Cardano (ADA) Brings to the Table
There are some key features that distinguish ADA as an asset. These include:
Security: Ouroboros, Cardano’s blockchain protocol, uses an environmentally-friendly Proof of Stake consensus mechanism (as opposed to Proof of Work) to uphold network security. Ouroboros is also the first peer-reviewed, tested, and formally verified protocol in crypto. Combining methodologies from cryptography and other scientific disciplines, the developers of Cardano have made a completely trustless network, impenetrable by hackers so far. Two anonymous parties can complete a transaction without an intermediary, knowing that the financial network is backed by rigorous, ongoing testing.
Multilayered Blockchain: Cardano has multiple layers which serve different purposes. The base layer is the Cardano Settlement Layer (CSL), where users can transact with each other using ADA. The second layer is the Cardano Computational Layer (CCL), responsible for executing smart contracts and verifying security through the use of various protocols. Both layers are programmable, opening up the potential for Cardano to handle the challenges of scaling in the future.
DeFi & DApps: With the recent implementation of smart contracts in 2021 the Cardano network is becoming a home for many assets and DApps. How does one use and pay for these services? With ADA. ADA is the “gas” that fuels the entire network of DApps available on the Cardano blockchain. Although many are still in their infancy stage, there are still hundreds of DApps using ADA to execute smart contracts daily.
Developer Activity: In the lead-up to Cardano’s Vasil Upgrade, which was completed in September 2022, developer activity increased on the network. High development activity is often correlated with an overall belief in the network’s utility and public sentiment that the project could achieve the goals it is aiming for.
Staking: The network also allows owners of the ADA token to participate in staking pools. When staking, token owners store and hold ADA on the network in exchange for a chance to become an active participant (validator) on Cardano. Validators who successfully confirm a block earn rewards in the form of ADA. This process can also be delegated through a stake pool operator.
Historical Performance: Since its launch, ADA has ranked within the top 10 cryptocurrencies by market cap. Its ability to remain in this position is a testament to the utility of the Cardano network and its strong community of holders. Understand that past performance is in no way an indicator of future results, and market cap is just one of many factors that speak to the potential value of a project. Saying this, ADA’s ability to endure market swings is a feature that suggests it isn’t going away anytime soon.
Ultimately, it’s up to the individual investor to determine if Cardano is the right investment for them.
Recommended Reading: The Big Four: Smart Contract Platforms
How to Buy Cardano (ADA) in 4 Easy Steps
The easiest way to buy ADA is through a brokerage, like Caleb & Brown.
With 24/7 access to your personal broker, you can buy ADA with fiat currency or trade with your current assets with no pair limits. Since brokerages do not need to deal with network latency issues like exchanges, you’ll have access to a pool of interchangeable assets. This not only makes ADA acquisition easier, but it also makes other, difficult to access tokens easier to acquire. Here’s how you can buy ADA in 4 easy steps.
1. Open an Account
Register as a client for free in just 5 minutes. You can register as an individual, corporation, business, trust, self-managed super fund, self-directed IRA or 401(k).
2. Verify Your Account
Verify your account by submitting the required Know Your Customer (KYC) documentation. This usually includes a photo ID, proof of address, and other documentation depending on the type of entity you register as. For more information, see our Onboarding Your Account FAQs.
3. Deposit Cash or Crypto
Once your account is verified, deposit your funds into the account provided by Caleb & Brown. A test transaction will be done first and, if successful, you can then transfer the entire amount.
4. Buy ADA
Once the funds hit your account, you’re ready to place an order. Simply send your order form via email to your personal broker. Your broker will execute your trade as requested, avoiding slippage where possible. Additionally, all Caleb & Brown clients have 24/7 access to their brokers, on-call to answer any crypto questions you may have.
Alternative Ways to Buy Cardano (ADA)
You can also buy ADA through a centralised exchange (CEX) or a decentralised exchange (DEX). Each option brings with it a unique set of hurdles to jump through.
If using fiat currency on a CEX there will often be additional KYC steps and fees applied to have your fiat converted to crypto. Check with the exchange you are using before proceeding.
You will also need to find an ADA trading pair; an asset that can be freely traded for ADA. For most exchanges that list ADA, this is usually a stablecoin or Bitcoin.
Alternatively, if you find a DEX that lists ADA, it’s not as simple as pressing “buy”. You’ll need to find an ADA trading pair here as well. If you don’t have one of these assets, you’ll need to swap your fiat or crypto for a coin that readily pairs with ADA. Keep in mind that you will be charged a transaction fee for each swap you complete.
Lastly, when using DEXs keep in mind that they come with their own set of risks. DEXs offer no custodial services, are prone to hacking, and are generally less secure than CEXs and brokerages.
How Much ADA Should I Buy?
People invest in crypto for many reasons. Investors also weigh a variety of factors before choosing a project to invest in. Ultimately, it’s up to you to determine how much you decide to invest, and what strategies you use to invest in crypto. Doing your own independent research will go a long way in helping you create and set investment goals.
How is Cardano Different From Ethereum?
The fundamental difference between Cardano and Ethereum is formal verification. Although both networks can be used for global transactions and executing smart contracts, Cardano is the first formally verified—and therefore provably secure—network.
Where is the Safest Place to Buy ADA?
With digital asset scams on the rise, now is more important than ever to engage services that prioritise user security above all else. If you’re looking for a secure, custodial service to safeguard your assets, look no further than Caleb & Brown. We have a battle-tested security infrastructure, through the leading asset security platform Fireblocks.
Make Your First Cardano (ADA) Investment
Working with a crypto broker is one of the easiest and most secure ways to get your hands on ADA. Caleb & Brown specialise in delivering a personalised experience for every investor, ensuring you can make an informed decision on every trade. Not to mention key features such as:
- Unlimited pairing with no limits on trading volume
- Custody on all stored assets
- No deposit or withdrawal fees
Trusted by more than 22,000 clients in over 100 countries, Caleb & Brown has the experience needed to help you execute your first ADA investment.
Sign up for your free consultation today and start investing in ADA.
Recommended reading: What is Cardano (ADA)? A beginner's guide
Disclaimer: This assessment does not consider your personal circumstances, and should not be construed as financial, legal or investment advice. These thoughts are ours only and should only be taken as educational by the reader. Under no circumstances do we make recommendation or assurance towards the views expressed in the blog-post. The Company disclaims all duties and liabilities, including liability for negligence, for any loss or damage which is suffered or incurred by any person acting on any information provided.