This is just an area where you can learn about blockchains and Cardano. Yes, there are lots of places on the internet you can do that, but I find a lot of it complicated and hard to navigate. Here, I keep it simple. I am trying to bust the jargon.

How to buy ADA and then stake it to get rewards...

In a nutshell

The steps are going to be:

Easy peasy.

Create an account

If you want to buy some ADA, or sell it, you will need an account on an exchange. Exchanges are websites which allow cryptocurrencies to be swapped with other people. Choosing the right exchange is very important because they are not all the same, and you are trusting them with your money.

There is a lot of choice. Hundreds of reputable exchanges exist in the world, and probably hundreds more which might be disreputable. They offer different services tailored towards different markets so you want one that suits your needs.

Considerations when choosing an exchange:

Money deposit/withdrawal. Many, even most, exchanges don't accept deposit and withdrawal of fiat money. It's much easier to deal in cryptocurrency only, so a lot of exchanges just stop there. They need to get accreditation in your country to make payments and take receipts from the banks. If you want to deposit some money you need to find an exchange which accepts your currency in your country.
Centralised/decentralised. A decentralised exchange is one where there is no company behind the software holding the money and taking responsibility. The swap is just made on the fly by the software. This idea works well with cryptocurrency but doesn't work with fiat money. These often have the word swap in their name. You should only use one of these if you know what you are doing, and are swapping one cryptocurrency for another.
Jurisdiction. Many exchanges will have decided that the regulations in some countries are difficult for them to adhere to, so they will restrict access to users from countries they can legally deal in. Look for one that is recommended in your country.
Reputation. You want an exchange that has a good reputation. To get this they will have to have been in business for a while, have a secure way to store currency, have insurance against loss, have partnerships with other reputable companies, have a had few or no hacks in the past, have dealt fairly with people, be using hot and cold wallets. etc. It is a good idea to check reputation using social media like youtube, reddit or twitter.
Ease of use. Some exchanges are a lot more complicated to use than others because they have been designed to offer advanced features to experienced users. Most of the advanced ones have an easy mode, but despite that there are clearly some exchanges designed for ease of use and others for completeness of the offering. It takes quite a bit of time to get registered so I suggest you go for one with a full range of services, since you can learn, but that's me. You might decide you are a bit of a technophobe and want a straightforward easy to use site.
Language. They mostly all do English, so if you are reading this you will probably be fine.
Liquidity. This is the amount of money being traded. You are looking for an exchange which does a reasonably high volume for the pair you want to trade so that your order is taken up at a fair price reasonably quickly. Otherwise you might get a poor price or wait a long time for the trade to go through. This is especially true if you are buying a lot. Some exchanges make it look as though they are busy by processing false trades. This is called wash trading. They are trading with themselves, and since they pay and receive their own fees they can appear to do a lot more trade than they do. In fact most exchanges cheat by wash trading, but some are honest, so try to choose one of those.

Getting a list of options

I would have loved to have given a list of exchanges here, but it's not really workable. Everyone has different tolerances for complexity, live in different countries, and the advice might change over time. So, a instead I am just telling you how to decide. A good way to get started is to use Coingecko and find the coin you are buying - ADA is Then select the markets tab to see the list of commonly used exchanges. This shows the volume of trading for each one. You will need to do a bit of research to choose one based on the considerations above.

Having said that, there are a lot, and the wash trading thing means the data is not reliable, so maybe googling 'Best crypto exchanges for Cardano' might be better.


Your password for an exchange shouldn't be treated like a password for a general website because it secures money. Pick a good strong password that is different from others you use.

You will also be offered other ways to secure the account. At the very least will be your email address which is where you pick up a code or link by email before you can get money out. A second common way you should set up is a phone number. They send a code to your phone. The third common way is an authentication app installed on another device, often your phone. With this you open the app and it shows a number which changes every 30 seconds. The most commonly used one is Google Authenticator, so I suggest you download this and use it to secure your account if it is offered.

Yes, you should be using at least three different ways to secure your account. Four is better. Don't cut corners here.

Getting through KYC

KYC stands for Know Your Customer and all organisations that facilitate transfer of money will need to know who you are. So all the exchanges have the same set of somewhat irritating steps to complete before they will let you use the services. You are going to have to upload a picture of an id document that has a picture of you on it (like a passport) and probably a utility bill or similar image which is recent and includes your address. All reputable exchanges are going to need this, so just accept it rather than trying to find an exchange that doesn't need it.

Getting through KYC takes at least hours, maybe days, so allow time. Once its done using the exchange is usually quick, so don't give up.

Buy some ADA

Ok, so you are all verified on an exchange, whose job it is to let you buy cryptocurrency, you would think the bit where you check the price and press the Buy It Now button would be easy. Well, the exchanges are all different, but in priciple there are complications which mean that you are likely to be faced with a range of at first confusing options.

The reason for this is that the exchange is supporting swaps between lots of different assets. So the experience is more like trading on a stock exchange than buying something in a shop. Cryptocurrency also allows for all sorts of clever functions, like staking, and different currencies work differently. This means that the website will be doing things you don't normally see when buying normal stuff.

Features of cryptocurrency exchanges:

Trading pairs: There are lots of assets and lots of people in the world trying to swap one for another. The exchange will support a long list of trading pairs and show you all the buy and sell offers available right now, all at different prices. You might need to choose USD/ADA pair to swap USD for ADA, or you might find that this one is not available. That would mean perhaps making two steps. Swap USD into BTC (bitcoin) first then swap BTC into ADA.
Simple/advanced trading: While swapping one asset for another at a price sounds simple the exchange will want to offer all sorts of complicated added features for advanced traders to allow them to play the market cleverly. I will only cover a couple here but there are lots, so if you are a beginner I suggest you go for the simple interface. I suggest you avoid the Instant Buy option (if there is one) because then you don't get to see the market properly, but don't jump into advanced mode.
Market orders: Buying or selling means placing an order, and the simplest type is the market order. A market order is where you just take the prices which are on offer right now. This is immediate and just looks for the best price available for the quantity you want. It might be that the best offer is for a quantity less than you want so it will then go to the next best price and so on until the order is covered. The percentage difference between the best price and the last one taken is called the slippage. Often you will be allowed to specify a limit on how much slippage you will accept, but it shouldn't be a problem if you aren't buying a large amount and there are other traders trading.
Limit orders: For a limit order you specify the price that you will accept. This is a good idea because the trades come in all the time and the price goes up and down all the time. If you specify a price which is a bit better than the current you can wait while the natural moves float around and then your order is filled. Sometimes it gets partially filled, and you have to wait a bit more. You will usually get a better price this way, but you run the risk that the market gently moves away in the wrong direction and you come back half an hour later with your order still not filled and the price has moved off. In that case you may choose to wait longer or cancel the order and place a new one.
Prices and fees: Its a good idea to check the price you are being offered by looking at the current prices of the assets you are trading and doing the maths. There will always be a trading fee as well, and it is worth checking how much this is and ensuring you are comfortable with it. Sometimes some methods of exchanging assets give a poor rate, and/or charge high fees. A typical fee would be between 0.1% and 1% so there is a big range, and sometimes there is a flat fee as well which can make small trades expensive.

Keep it simple

Don't overcomplicate it. Go to the trading page and look at the list of prices. There will be green ones which are buys and red ones which are sells. Check the price where they meet in the middle. Enter the amount of ADA you want to buy in the "Buy" box and select a price. If you want to keep it even simpler use a Market order and the price will sort itself out. Click buy. You will be fine.

Install a wallet

Ok, so we have bought some coins, but we have heard someone say "not your keys, not your coins", so we think we should actually hold the keys and the coins ourselves. One reason we might do this is that exchanges have been hacked in the past, and have disappeared with people's money. This is unlikely on a reputable one. Another is that it is less traceable (not untraceable though). Your own wallet is your own, nobody gets to control your money. So it's really a point of priciple. For whatever reasons, at lot of people like to hold their own coins.

The reason you might not install a wallet is that there is a risk that you lose the keys or your computer gets hacked/broken/lost such that you lose your money. I will explain ways to guard against this, but if this is your first time you should work with small amounts until you get confident.

What wallets do:

Receive money: You have an address which you can give to other people so that they can send you money. Some wallets also have a button that you can press to generate a new address. With this you can add a new address for every receipt to make your wallet more private. It's all in the same wallet so it gets added together when you send.
Send money: You can specify how much to send it and press send. Some wallets will allow you to control the fee you want to pay, with a higher fee being faster and a lower fee being slower. It's unusual, but some wallets will also let you select the sources of the sent tokens, from the list of stored receipts, often also called UTXOs.
Store money: You have a 12 word phrase which you keep secret, and a password. If you lose the wallet you can get the money back using the phrase. Some wallets also support a hardware wallet, which is a device you connect to the computer which stores the phrase. This is a lot safer than having the phrase stored on the computer protected only by your password.
Stake your coins: Some coins support staking, and if they do you want to earn the rewards by staking them. Some wallets have a button to let you claim your rewards, others might do it automatically.
Hold NFTs: If your blockchain supports NFTs you might want to buy them and store them in your wallet. You might want to see their properties, and perhaps trade or auction them.
Talk to web pages: As you browse the internet you might use web pages which can interface with a crypto wallet. For example to allow you to buy something, or to investing in something, or sign something. These wallets run as a plug-in to your web browser and look different from other wallets. The plug-in for ADA right now is called Nami and it works fine. It supports hardware wallets.

How wallets work:

If you are new to this you might be confused by the idea that "some wallets support hardware wallets", so I will explain.

There are several major manufacturers of hardware wallets. At the time of writing the two main ones are Ledger and Trezor but others are available.

The first step is to choose a wallet, meaning the software bit. You will have to install some software which will be a wallet and do the work. When choosing your wallet you should bear in mind whether or not it supports hardware wallets to keep the keys secure, and if so which hardware wallets. The best place to start is the web page for the coin, so for ADA the that will be here. There are usually reliable links from there to the wallet that is recommended for the coin. However, this can vary quite a lot between coins.

Things to be aware of:

Scams. Yep, the very first question should always be - could this be a scam. Check the spelling of the name of the website, the little padlock, the links and the pages. Make sure it's not a copy.
Multi-coin wallets. If you are holding lots of coins you might decide to choose a wallet that can hold a lot of them in one place. Exodus is like this, but there are no wallets that hold all coins, so you have to choose.
Holding tokens. ADA is a coin that has it's own blockchain, as is Bitcoin and Ethereum. However both Cardano and Ethereum can support tokens that have rules which are defined in a smart contract submitted to the blockchain in a transaction. There are wallets which can support any token, past or future, and you add the token to the wallet by specifying the address of the contract. If you want to hold tokens that adhere to a standard get a wallet which can import the token by supporting that standard.
NFTs. The best way to buy and sell NFTs is with a website dedicated to trading them on that blockchain. For Cardano at the time of writing the most commonly used platform is For Ethereum there are quite a few but the most well known ones are Opensea and Rareables. In all cases the best way to trade is to link a plug-in wallet to your web browser, so for Cardano that means installing Nami and for Ethereum you would install Metamask. If you are holding more money than you are prepared to lose buy a hardware wallet and connect them to that, but alternatively you can hold only what you need in the plug-in and send funds on demand.

Transfer ADA to your wallet

Once you have your wallet installed transferring funds to it is easy. First you click the "receive" button in the wallet so that it shows an address. Copy the address. Now go to the wallet that has the money in it. I assume this is an exchange, so it will support a list of currencies and your ADA will be one of them. You click the send button and paste in the address.

Always check that the address is correct by reading the first few characters and last few to ensure they are right. It is possible for your computer to have a virus which changes the address when you copy/paste so that your money goes to a hacker. Press the send button and follow the instructions. Quite often this will mean picking up an email and replying to it, picking up a text and entering a number in a box, and starting up your Google Authenticator app on your phone to get yet another number. That's just how it is. Now you wait a little while for the money to arrive. On Cardano it's only a few seconds.

If your money doesn't arrive, go to the exchange and look at the transaction history for the coin. This will show the transaction and should show its status. If it shows as complete try clicking the transaction reference. This will take you to the blockchain explorer. The explorer shows all the details of the transfer, where it came from, went to, and how many confirmations it has. Many wallets will not show the balance until there are ten or more confirmations on a transaction. If the confirmations are there the money is there.

Yes, I have heard stories of exchanges which freeze your funds unexpectedly, and then are hard to get in touch with. They are centralised organisations which have the regulators on their backs constantly checking that there is no funny business with what is increasingly being thought of as money. Sometimes you have to work at it a bit. For my part, I have found them all ok, and I have tried lots. Oh, apart from Cryptopia, which ran off with my money. Oops.

Select a stakepool

Finally, you have your money in a wallet which supports staking. It's easy to pick a stakeppol. Just pick KMADA. It has 100% uptime, has never missed a block, and charges a 1% fee. You can't go wrong really.

Normally you can type in KMADA to find it and click on it to select. Some wallets don't offer a list of pools by name, however, because they want to persuade you to use their's. In that case you might be able to select KMADA using the pool address, which is 47d0952dee0eacb0a7dd1b059fdd3c0580172d6d81a497e8f51dd1e6.

Wait for about ten days

The great thing about Cardano staking is that there is no "slashing" and no delays on withdrawal of your cash. Slashing happens in some blockchains to pools that misbehave. If the blockchain thinks they are deliberately reporting false data it will fine them. Eth2 is like this. This doesn't happen in Cardano so all the ADA, including your delegated stuff, is safe.

Committing to a time delay, where you can't get them back quickly, or where you have to pay a fine to get them back quickly, also happens in some blockchains. Polkadot is like this. Again, this doesn't happen in Cardano. What does happen, however, is you have to wait for two complete epochs after you delegate to a pool before you start getting rewards from that pool. This is one of the security mechanisms used by the Ouroboros protocol to keep the chain safe.

The good points about this are:

Very low fees: Just the one transaction fee, which at the moment is .17 ADA.

Safe: No chance of losing any money.

Immediate withdrawal: You can spend any amount of your ADA anytime, whether it is staked or not. The rest stays staked.

Flexible: You can switch to a different pool anytime as well, without losing any rewards. It still takes 2 epochs, but during the switch you stay with the previous pool, so there is no period when you are not staked.

If you are using Yoroi or Daedalus the staking screen will show you clearly which pool you are staked with and will show the epochs which are due and which pool you are going to be with for the next two. This allows you to see the time delay easily.

This website was created by Kevmate. Its all my own work. Contact me by emailing me at