Welcome to our guide on how to buy NFTs for collectors looking to invest in NFT art on Cardano.
As the NFT community grows, more and more intriguing projects are being developed on various blockchains, but Cardano’s bustling NFT market is setting itself apart with low gas fees compared to its primary competitor, Ethereum.
With this handy guide, you’ll learn how to:
- Buy ADA
- Fund your Cardano wallet
- Do your own research to find the right projects
- Avoid scams
- Scope out the best NFT marketplaces on Cardano
- Invest with a plan
Let’s get right to it!
NFTs are bought and sold with cryptocurrency, so it’s important for you to purchase ADA, Cardano's digital currency using a centralized cryptocurrency exchange like Binance, Coinbase or Kraken.
Binance is a more extensive and popular exchange with cheaper transaction costs on average, but Coinbase and Kraken have been around for almost a decade and are considered very secure and reputable platforms.
Depending on your country of origin, you might not be able to buy ADA directly with a credit card and may have to transfer funds directly from your bank account to make the purchase.
We created a step-by-step guide on how to buy ADA from Binance and fund your Cardano wallet that you can easily follow.
Once you’ve acquired ADA on an exchange, you'll need a Cardano-supported wallet.
Nami and Eternl are good desktop wallets that offer smart contract functionality, with Eternl also having a mobile version.
Once you’ve decided on a wallet and set it up, copy and paste your wallet’s address into the address field in the ‘Withdraw Crypto’ section of your chosen exchange and hit send. It usually just takes a few minutes to complete the transaction as long as the network isn’t congested.
Not sure which Cardano wallet is the right one for you? Check out our wallets review here.
Now it's time to find a project that interests you, one that is worthy of your hard-earned ADA.
Drop calendar sites are the perfect place to start as they feature up-and-coming mints of projects with important information that you can use in the research phase of your investing journey.
Ideally, it is best to select projects with art that resonates with you because there is always the risk that it won’t do well. If for some reason it doesn’t take off, at least you’ll have an NFT you enjoy looking at.
Not all drop calendar sites are created equal, so decide for yourself with our head-to-head comparison of top drop calendar sites on Cardano.
1. Do your own research (DYOR) by following the project on Twitter and Discord.
Check how often the creator's tweet and post announcements on Discord. They not only need to be interacting with their community often but there also needs to be a good reaction from the community to every bit of news that is shared.
The energy, especially within the Discord chat channel, needs to be positive and uplifting. The most damning thing for an NFT project is members ‘FUDDING’ in the chat. FUD stands for fear, uncertainty, and doubt and is commonly used NFT lingo.
2. Ask questions about the project in Discord.
You are doing all this due diligence to avoid the infamous "rug pull," which occurs when someone starts a project and then abruptly abandons it once they’ve made a fortune from the mint.
Be sure to engage in the general chat channel to find out more about the project specifics, what the NFT's utility is (if anything) and gauge what the general sentiment of the community is.
3. Visit the project website to learn about the creators.
Are they doxed? Meaning, can you see who these people really are? Do they have their own Twitter following? Have they launched projects before?
If they are just a bunch of faceless avatars you should immediately be wary.
Once you’ve established the project is real and you’re confident in the development team’s ability to deliver on the roadmap, make sure you check the announcements in Discord for the minting time and date as well as other instructions like where the mint will be held.
Sometimes the website is used, other times an address is posted in the Discord announcements channel. There might also be a restriction, for very popular projects, on how many NFTs you can buy per transaction in order to ensure that most people get at least one.
Now that you've read the guidelines in the announcements channel, it’s time to load up your wallet with ADA and get ready for the mint.
You’ll need to keep your wits about you because, during the mint, scammers will do all they can to cash in on the frenzied activity to trick you.
They’ll do things like using the project creator’s avatar to post their own wallet address in the chat channel or direct message you and try to get you to mint on a fake website that appears to be identical to the real one.
To be safe it’s always best practice to double-check the URL provided if the mint is taking place on a website, and turn off your DMs in Discord as the moderators will never direct message you with a special mint price or giveaway.
If you’ve successfully avoided the scammers, you’ll need to be quick with the mint or you’ll likely miss out if it’s a popular project. Using numerous wallets might occasionally be beneficial in this situation.
Perhaps you missed the drop or you've learned about a worthwhile project after the drop. You can always get in on the project by finding good deals on the secondary market. Once again, DYOR, is of critical importance.
Interested in seeing what the top collections look like before you buy? View our partner collection over at The Art Bank here.
Purchasing on a secondary market is normally more costly, but at least you can be confident that the project has already been formed and that they are following through with their roadmap — more on why you should consider primary vs secondary NFT marketplaces!
Pro Tip: Check out these useful CNFT ranking tools to quickly get the key metrics about NFT projects.
Just as with a new project that is about to mint, you should always DYOR by checking out the social media channels, project website, and dev team experience. Now that the project has minted, you have even more information available like the mood in the Discord server.
Is the community happy with the mint?
Do they like the NFTs?
Are they just concerned with the floor price or are they really invested in the long-term potential of the project?
The price on the secondary market will also tell you how the project is being received by the community. If the floor price is already below the mint price then this is an immediate red flag and the project should probably be avoided.
Now that your wallet is loaded with your first NFTs, head on over to pool.pm and plug in your wallet address to see them. It's not the best viewing experience.
Check out these other CNFT viewing platforms for a more immersive viewing experience.
If you’re using a wallet like Eternl, you can also navigate to your ‘Token List’ in your account to view your NFT there.
The question you need to ask yourself now is, "should I flip or hold on for dear life (HODL)?"
Trading NFTs is a high-risk endeavor and it's important to note that most NFT projects will go down to zero. Hopefully, you've bought into a collection with OG potential and so simply HODLing will pay off in the long run.
Most NFT traders agree that you can make more money being patient than just flipping immediately after the drop. If, however, you wish to engage in trading NFTs the most lucrative ways to make a profit is by spotting listings that are undervalued through your research.
This, of course, is subjective, as an NFT is only as valuable as what someone is willing to pay for it.
Buying directly from the creator on the primary market through their website or Discord (that we covered above) affords you the opportunity to buy in at the best possible price before anyone has had a chance to relist it for a higher price.
When you’re buying on the secondary market, you can never be certain that you’re getting a good deal on something as you’re buying in at a price that someone else has set.
Some marketplaces have bidding features that work the same way as any other online auction would on eBay. There is a set period of time where interested buyers can make their bid in the hope that it is the highest when the auction ends.
It’s possible that a seller could have listed a highly undervalued NFT that does not garner a lot of attention that you can pick up at a steal and flip for a big profit later.
It’s impossible to know which NFT projects are going to be winners, so another strategy might involve buying into a few low-cost projects that you have vetted to hold onto if they become the next Spacebudz or Clay Nation.
Again, it’s all about doing your own research and using the available tools to inform your investment decisions.
Learning how to buy NFTs on Cardano is certainly not too complicated a process, but there will always be a number of points to keep in mind when investing in anything:
- Never invest more than you are willing to lose
- Profits are not guaranteed
- Stick with a buying/trading strategy that works for you
- Take precautions to spot and prevent investment scams
- Always DYOR and understand what you’re buying into
If you’re a collector looking to earn some free $Monet and get special access to NFT mints, free giveaways and more consider staking your ADA with our partners at The Art Bank.