Cardano is a decentralised public blockchain and cryptocurrency project that is fully open source.
This guide is not, and should not be regarded as 'investment advice' or as a 'recommendation' regarding a course of action.
Note: Images can be clicked to see a larger version. If you're confused by any terms used, a glossary can be found here.
First we need to set up a wallet to store the Cardano (ADA) you're about to buy.
Go to the download site for the open source cryptocurrency wallet for Ada, Daedalus.
Choose the file that works for your computer and download it.
Once it has downloaded, install the program.
Run the program. It will be called 'Daedalus' on your computer.
Select your language and press 'Continue'.
You're given the option to send logs to the developers of Daedalus regarding your usage of the wallet. Choose if you'd like to or not.
The wallet will now sync with the Cardano blockchain. Be patient as this can take some time (in our experience about 40 minutes).
Once the sync has completed the program will be fully operational.
Press 'Create a new wallet'.
Give the wallet an obvious name, for example 'My Cardano Wallet'.
Press 'Activate to create password'.
This will open some input boxes. Enter a strong password (that you won't forget!). It needs to be at least 7 characters long, and have at least 1 uppercase, 1 lowercase letter and 1 number.
Press 'Create personal wallet'.
You will be informed that you're about to get a recovery phrase.
Tick the box to confirm no-one else is watching your screen right now.
You will be given a 12 word phrase.
It's very important that you write this down correctly and keep it somewhere very safe. You'll need it to open your wallet in future. If anyone gets a hold of this phrase they can open your wallet and take your coins.
Once you've secured your passphrase press 'Yes, I have written it down'.
You will be prompted to recreate your passphrase using the words provided. Click the words in the order they appear on your stored passphrase.
Once you've done so, you will be given two warnings that you have to click to agree that you understand. Make sure you read these warnings and understand them.
Once you do, press 'Confirm'.
Your wallet is now open.
You will be given your wallet address. It looks like a long string of numbers of letters. Copy this address somewhere safe as we'll need it soon.
Now we'll purchase the popular cryptocurrency Ethereum, so that we can exchange it for Cardano (if you already own Ethereum you can skip ahead).
Choose which Ethereum exchange you'd like to use (by clicking on the logo), and the guide will continue:
If you use this link to sign up to Coinbase we'll both receive ten dollars of free coins when you spend over $100 (or the equivalent in your currency).
Press the 'sign up' button and fill out your name (make sure this is exactly how it's written on your photo ID), email, password and location.
Just like a US bank, Coinbase is regulated by the US government, and has to follow strict financial rules. So they take verifying your identity very seriously. It's a pain, but it does give Coinbase a reputation for being the most trusted way to convert fiat currency to cryptocurrency.
To verify your account you must supply a phone number, upload an image of your photo ID and verify a credit/debit card or bank account before you can buy.
Using a credit/debit card on Coinbase means higher fees but offers instant purchasing. Using a bank transfer is cheaper but slower (taking up to a week to get your coins).
Once your payment details are verified, click 'buy/sell' on the top menu.
Select 'Ethereum', and at the bottom of the page choose how much to spend in your local currency / how many coins you want to buy.
Once you're happy with the amount, click the big 'Buy' button.
You'll be asked to confirm your purchase.
Press the 'Confirm Buy' button.
Congratulations! You now own some Ethereum. But don't close Coinbase yet, we're going to need it again in a few minutes.
Click here to go to Cex.io
Click the 'Register' button along the top menu.
Enter your email address and a secure password. Click the checkbox to agree to the terms.
You will now be asked to set up 2-factor authentication for your new account. It is strongly advised not to skip this step, as 2-factor authentication makes your account far more secure.
We recommend using the 'Smartphone App' option.
Once your security has been set up, you'll be taken to your account dashboard.
Before we do anything else, head on over to your personal email account- there will be an email from Cex.io asking you to click a link to verify your account. Click it.
You will be taken to a page telling you your email has been confirmed. Click 'Go back to the site'.
Look for your user ID in the top menu, hover your mouse over it and in the drop down menu click 'Verification'.
Every exchange that lets your buy cryptocurrencies for cash require you to verify your identification before doing so.
Complete the Cex.io verification process by supplying your personal information and uploading your ID.
Once you're verified, click the 'Deposit' button along the top menu.
You now get to choose how you'd like to deposit money:
Via credit/debit card
If you choose credit/debit card you can buy instantly, but you pay commission on the money you deposit.
Via bank transfer
This option takes a few days for the transfer to arrive but has no commission fees.
Choose the method you prefer and follow the instructions to deposit your money.
Once your money is in your account, click 'BUY/SELL' on the top menu.
Choose 'ETH' and the currency you'd like to buy it in (Dollars, Euros, Pounds or Rubles).
You will be offered some precalculated amounts of Ethereum, or you can scroll to the bottom of the page and input the amount of Ethereum you'd like to buy in the 'Custom amount' box.
Once you've decided, click 'Buy'.
You'll be asked to confirm your buy.
Check everything looks correct and click 'Confirm the order'.
Congratulations- you now own some Cardano!
Enter your email and a strong password (that you won't forget!).
You will be sent an email to confirm your email address.
Click the link in the email.
You will be taken back to Binance as your email is confirmed.
On the login form, enter the email and password you just used to sign up, then press 'Login'.
A pop-up will advise you to set up 2FA (two factor authentication) on your account.
We strongly advise you to do this- in the event a hacker manages to get hold of your password, this second level of security makes it very unlikely they will be able to get into your Binance account.
We recommend using the Authy app on your mobile phone or web browser.
Hover your mouse over 'FUNDS' on the top menu and click on 'Deposits Withdrawals'.
This screen displays any coins you have stored on Binance- obviously none at the moment.
Type 'Ethereum' in the search box.
This will narrow the wallets displayed to just a few- in those, find Ethereum.
You will be given a Ethereum deposit address (a long string of numbers and letters).
Copy this address and keep it somewhere safe as we're going to need it soon.
Note: Double check you've actually selected Ethereum (ETH)- if you send your coins to the wrong wallet you will lose them.
Now, return to Coinbase.
Click 'Accounts' from the top menu, then find your Ethereum wallet listed on the left.
In the 'Recipient' box, paste the Ethereum wallet address we just copied from Binance.
In amount, type how much Ethereum you wish to send (there is a 'use max' option if you wish to send it all).
Coinbase may ask you to confirm with your password/phone. Follow the instructions until it confirms the Ethereum are sent.
Go back to Cex.io
Press 'Withdraw' on the top menu.
Under 'Select currency and amount' click 'USD' and select 'ETH' in the drop down menu.
Input the amount of Ethereum you're sending.
In the box labelled 'Enter the recipient's address below' paste the Ethereum wallet address we just copied from Binance.
Once you've looked everything over, click the check box to confirm you've double checked everything is correct.
You will be asked for a 2-factor authentication number.
Use your selected method of authentication to generate the number and write it in the box. Press 'Confirm'.
You will be sent an email to confirm the withdrawal.
Go to your personal email and click the link Cex.io has sent you. This will send the coins on their way.
Go back to LocalBitcoins.
You should still be in your wallet page.
In the box labelled 'Receiving Bitcoin address' paste the Ethereum wallet address we just copied from Binance.
Enter the amount of Bitcoin you're sending.
You will be asked to enter your password to confirm the send.
Once entered, press 'Send from wallet'.
You will be taken back to your wallet and a message will appear to confirm the Bitcoin has been sent.
Now we've got to wait a few minutes for the coins to move across the network.
Unless there's an unusually large network backlog, the coins will take between 20 and 60 minutes to appear in your Binance wallet.
Binance will update automatically so there's no need to refresh the page.
While you're waiting, consider sharing this guide with your friends and followers to spread the word about Cardano, encouraging its popularity and value to grow.
Here's some share buttons to make it easy:
Once the Ethereum shows in your 'available balance' we're ready to trade for Cardano.
Click here to jump straight to the ADA/ETH exchange market on Binance.
The exchange page can look overwhelming at first, but don't worry, we're only going to use a small part of it.
There are two ways of buying coins:
A 'Limit' order, which lets you manually set the price at which you want to buy ADA.
A 'Market' buy, which fills your order automatically at the best price available.
As market buy is the simpler of the two options we'll go with that.
Look for the big green 'Buy ADA' button.
Above it, click the 'Market' option.
In the input box marked 'Amount' you now need to fill in how many ADA you'd like to buy. It may be easier to use the percentage buttons below the input box- for example, press 50% if you'd like to exchange 50% of your Ethereum for ADA.
When you're happy with the amount, press the buy button.
Your order will be filled immediately.
Press 'Funds' along the top menu, then 'Deposits Withdrawals'.
In the search box, type ADA. You will now see your new ADA in your ADA wallet.
If you're comfortable with it, you could just leave your coins on Binance and they would probably be safe. However, exchanges have been hacked in the past, and people have lost coins, so we do recommend you keep them in a personal wallet. Here's how:
Click the 'Withdrawal' button.
In the boxes that appear, fill in this information:
Label: Write 'My wallet'
Address: Put the wallet address that you copied from Daedalus wallet (in step 7).
Amount: Press the 'Max' button to send all your ADA.
Once you're sure all this information is correct (double check you've inputted the correct wallet address!), press 'Submit'.
If you've set up two-factor authentication, you will be asked for a code from your phone. Enter it and press 'Submit'.
You will be sent an email to confirm the withdrawal.
Go to your email and click the link that has been sent to you.
Now you have to wait for the Cardano (ADA) to travel from Binance to your wallet.
Press 'Summary' in your Daedalus wallet. Once your coins arrive they'll appear in your balance.
What about when you're ready to sell your Cardano?
You simply reverse the order of tasks you performed in this guide.For example, you send your Cardano to Binance, exchange it for Ethereum, send that Ethereum to Coinbase Cex.io Local Bitcoins and sell it for your preferred currency.