How to Buy Cardano
You can’t buy Cardano because Cardano is a platform. It is an easy mistake! If you want to be a part of the Cardano platform, you’re going to want to buy Ada. Ada is the coin backed by Cardano, and lucky for you Ada is available on all the popular exchanges like Coinbase, Binance US, and the like. Here is a fun fact for you; ADA is named after Ada Lovelace. Ada was a 19th-century mathematician. She is known as the first computer programmer. Pretty iconic, Ada!
Cardano is a crypto project like no other.
Cardano is unique in the crypto space because it is the first project that is peer-reviewed and based on scientific research. It is built on a proof-of-stake blockchain platform rather than a proof-of-work blockchain platform. The proof-of-stake and proof-of-work platforms are related to how transactions are validated on the blockchain. You are entering a very technical area of cryptocurrency; let’s take it step by step.
What is a blockchain?
In the short form, a blockchain is a transaction ledger. It is where all the transactions that use a particular cryptocurrency are recorded and stored. The unique thing about the blockchain is that it is decentralized or unregulated; unlike banks, no one is in charge. When a transaction is requested, a block representing that transaction is created, the block is sent to miners who ensure the transaction is valid. Miners receive “payment” for the work they do in validating the block. The payment is usually in the form of cryptocurrency. After the miners do their job, the block is added to the chain, everyone on the blockchain is notified, and the transaction is complete.
Proof-of-Stake vs. Proof-of-Work Blockchains.
Now that you know what a blockchain is and how transactions work across the blockchain, it’s time to dive into Proof-of-Work versus Proof-of-Stake – the idea that differentiates Cardano from everything else. The Proof-of-Work blockchain requires miners to solve complex math problems to add the new block to the chain. Why would someone spend time solving a complex math problem or puzzle? Because they get cryptocurrency. For example, early miners that added to the bitcoin blockchain, received bitcoin in exchange for their work; those miners are probably multi-millionaires at this point. The Proof-of-Work blockchain is incredibly taxing on the environment because of the amount of energy over an extended period needed to solve the complex math problem is exorbitant.
The Proof-of-Stake blockchain is much more environmentally friendly. Cardano is thought of as a green cryptocurrency because it employs the Proof-of-Stake method. Proof-of-Stake is just how it sounds; to verify transactions, users must own the cryptocurrency or have a “stake” in the blockchain. Proof-of-Stake protocol gives mining power based on the percentage of coins held by a miner and Proof-of-Work requires miners to sell their coins to fund their project. In a Proof-of-Stake blockchain, miners aren’t expending thousands of kilowatts of energy solving complex math equations.
Cardano utilizes the Proof-of-Stake blockchain and a smart contract platform. Smart contract platforms use even less energy because transactions are validated automatically if certain criteria are met. Cardano’s mission is to equalize and even the playing field. It aims to build a world where the rich and the poor have equal voting power; all users who hold Cardano’s cryptocurrency, Ada, are incentivized to vote on upgrades and development of the platform.
As stated previously, you can buy Ada on any of the popular exchanges. But how do you store Ada? Cardano has created two wallets to hold your Ada in. It is best practice never to keep your crypto on the exchange because the exchange is easily hackable. A crypto wallet ensures your coins are safe; you create a unique passcode. That passcode and your wallet are your online persona on the blockchain. The downside is that if you lose the passcode, you lose your crypto forever. I’m sure you’ve heard of people who bought bitcoin in 2013, transferred it to a wallet, and forgot about it; now they have no access to a multi-million-dollar wallet. The bottom line is to remember your passcode!
Wallets For Storing Cardano
Speaking of wallets, Cardano has developed two wallets for Ada holders. One is called the Daedalus wallet. The Daedalus is smart-contract optimized and downloads a copy of the Cardano blockchain. Doing so provides enhanced security and activates the smart-contract transaction validation. This wallet is available for download to your desktop computer. Because Daedalus activates the smart-contract software, it does not need to connect to a third-party server to validate transactions. With the Daedalus wallet, your Ada is truly off-grid. Something to keep in mind is that the Daedalus wallet requires a lot of bandwidth and computer space. Additionally, if your computer is susceptible to malware attacks or already has malware on it, your wallet could be hacked, and your Ada stolen.
Cardano has also developed a “lite wallet” called Yoroi. The Yoroi wallet does not download the blockchain, but it performs similar functions to the Daedalus wallet. Either way, if you’re going full in on Ada, you should get one of these wallets to store and possibly stake your Ada in. What is staking, you ask? In short, staking earns you awards and incentives for assisting in validating transactions on the blockchain. Another blog on another day will go in-depth on what staking is and how to do it.
Now that you have an in-depth understanding of the unique nature of Cardano and the project behind the Ada cryptocurrency, you are ready to purchase Ada! Head over to your favorite exchange and make an order. Decide on a wallet (there are many different wallets out there, and you do not have to stick with the ones mentioned here) and transfer that Ada into your new, extremely secure wallet. Stay tuned for a blog post on staking so you can learn how to make money from your Ada or any Proof-of-Stake platform. Remember, crypto is fun – have fun with it and learn as much as you can in the process; it is the way of the future after all.