Special thanks to @SteeleTrading for allowing me to use their images and adapt their content for this guide.
Step 1 - Purchase ADA on an Exchange
In order to acquire Cardano's native currency (ADA), you will have to purchase it through a centralized exchange. There are a ton of options and preference really comes down to what works best in your country.
If you already have one of these accounts, you can deposit cash into the account and exchange it or another cryptocurrency for ADA.
Step 2 - Send ADA to Your Personal Wallet
Once you have acquired some ADA into your exchange wallet, you will then need to set a decentralized individual wallet. These are the types of wallets that allow you to delegate your ADA to a stake pool, or interact with Dapps such as NFT marketplaces. Again, there are a number of options here, but each comes with its own perks and drawbacks.
Picking a wallet can be a bit of a headache, so we will cover a comparison of each of these wallets in a later post. So for simplicity: Newbies - use Yoroi. More Experienced Users - use Daedalus, Nami, ccvault, Adalite, or Gerowallet. Some users may also want a NAMI wallet as some Dapps are only compatible with this wallet. Daedalus wallet is a full node wallet, which means that it needs to fully sync with the blockchain during start-up before you can use it - this means that if you don't open it often it may take a long time to sync!
Because this thread is designed for newcomers and for simplicity purposes, YOROI will be used for demonstration. The link to this wallet is here: https://yoroi-wallet.com/#/
Once you have your ADA and have created your wallet, you need to send your funds to it. Go to the receive section of your wallet and copy your address. Then refer back to the exchange, navigate to the send/export button, select ADA, and paste the address from your wallet
Always make sure before confirming your transaction, that you are sure the address you pasted is correct. Lots of wallets will ensure that it is in fact a valid address so you aren't just sending it into the abyss, but make sure its the address you want to send it to.
It may take a 1-30 minutes for the funds to show up into your wallet depending on exchange activity, so be patient. But that is all! You are now all set to delegate your funds to a stake pool.
If you have a hardware wallet that you would like to use to stake your ADA using Yoroi, such as a Ledger hardware wallet, see this guide: