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Cardano FAQs - Learn more about ADA
Cardano FAQs - Learn more about ADA

Information about hard forks, Cardano (ADA) transactions, collateral and locked Cardano and Cardano tokens.

Updated over a week ago

Everything you need to know about Cardano (ADA) inside of Exodus.

Need a crypto wallet that gives you control of your assets? You can download Exodus here.

In this article:

What was the Shelley hard fork?

The Cardano network upgraded from a centralized network to a distributed one through the Shelley protocol on June 29, 2020. This upgrade allowed for more and more nodes to shift towards being run by the Cardano community. Once network participants run the majority of nodes, Cardano will be more decentralized and enjoy greater security and robustness as a result.

Shelley also introduced a delegation and incentives scheme, and a reward system to drive community adoption. As a proof-of-stake network, users stake their ADA to participate in the network. To read more about the Shelley upgrade and what it entails, please refer to the Cardano website.

What was the Vasil hard fork?

The Cardano blockchain's Vasil hard fork, on September 22, 2022, brought significant changes to the network.

Major changes to the network included enhancements to the Plutus smart contract platform and greater scalability as described in this tweet from InputOutputHK, which is the blockchain firm that oversees the building, planning, and maintenance of the Cardano network.

ADA transactions

Why can't I export my ADA to another wallet with its private key?

Typically, by exporting your private key you can interact with your tokens in another wallet - but only if it supports the same derivation path (address creation tool) used in Exodus.

Please be very careful with your 12-word secret recovery phrase and private keys, because they control access to your funds. Never share them with anyone, and only import them into platforms that you trust 100%. If you choose to import your secret recovery phrase or private keys into a third-party platform, you do so at your own risk. To find out more, check out this article from our Knowledge Base: How do I keep my money safe?

What is the minimum transaction size for ADA?

There is a minimum transaction size of 1 ADA (not including the network fee) set by the Cardano network. This means the minimum amount of ADA you can send is 1 ADA (plus the transaction fee). The Cardano network put this minimum in place to reduce the amount of dust on the network and to mitigate the issue of too many small inputs.

At the moment, it is not possible to send less than 1 ADA in any transaction. This applies to staking ADA and claiming ADA rewards, as well as regular sending transactions.

If you try to send less than 1 ADA, you will see an error message that the Transaction amount is too small to send.

Why is my transaction size too large?

The Cardano network also has a maximum transaction size. If you try to send ADA with too many inputs in it, then you might go over the size limit and won’t be able to send out your ADA.

If you try to send a transaction over the transaction size limit, you will receive an error message that the Transaction size is too large.

This is similar to receiving small mining payouts with other UTXO-based assets.

How does this happen?

The most common way this happens is when trying to claim your generated ADA rewards too often. Each time you claim your ADA rewards, you create another input transaction of a small amount of ADA. Then when you try to send some ADA, your wallet has to put all of the small inputs together, which can make it go over the transaction size limit.

How do I fix this?

Exodus has a built-in feature to help you clean up all your small inputs.

What Exodus does is gather together as many small inputs as it can fit into one transaction, then send it to yourself.

For example, Exodus might see you have 100 or more inputs (which is too many). Exodus lets you know this is too many, and you can choose to fix it. Then your wallet will split your inputs into multiple transactions and send them back to you. When this is complete, you will have merged your ADA inputs, which will fix the issue of the transaction size being too large.

This will incur a network transaction fee. To learn more about transaction fees, visit: Does Exodus have transaction fees to send or receive?

If you see this error:

Then please follow these steps:

  1. First, click Fix this.

  2. You can have a look at the Cardano network fee here. Then click Yes, Continue.

  3. You will see a message Merging Cardano transactions. Please do not close Exodus until this process is complete.

  4. Once you see the Transactions Merged screen, then your ADA inputs have been merged, and you can proceed to send out your ADA!

How do I avoid this from happening in the future?

To prevent this from happening in the future, you can avoid creating too many inputs. This can mean not claiming your ADA rewards very often. Your ADA rewards will always be at your address waiting to be claimed, and your unclaimed rewards automatically get added to your staking balance, so there is no downside to waiting a bit longer for more ADA rewards to accumulate before you claim your rewards.

What is the deposit confirmation requirement?

When receiving Cardano (ADA) in your wallet, you will need to wait for your incoming transaction to be confirmed before you are able to send it.

What this means is your ADA is locked until it is mined in a block for it to be confirmed. In Cardano's case, wallets keep the funds locked for 5 minutes.


Say you have a balance of 10 ADA.

  • One spendable output of full 10 ADA:

    In this example, when you send 2 ADA to someone, this whole 10 ADA output gets used and the change comes back to you in a new output. Let’s say your fees were 0.01. Your transaction, therefore, sends one output with 10 ADA and has 2 outputs, one for 2 ADA (the recipient) and one for 7.99 ADA (your change). Because the transaction needs to be confirmed, your change (7.99 ADA) will be locked for 5 minutes.

  • Two or more spendable outputs of 3 ADA and 7 ADA:

    If the original balance was spread over 2 spendable outputs and you just want to send 2 ADA, only one of those outputs would be used, say the 3 ADA output. That means only your change leftover from just the 3 ADA output would be locked for 5 minutes. The other output of 7 ADA is untouched and would not be locked and would be free to spend straight away. Only what is spent needs to wait for 5 minutes.

Why are some of my ADA tokens missing?

If you've previously sent ADA tokens to your Legacy address in Exodus, you may find these funds missing. This is because Exodus stopped supporting Legacy addresses.

Your funds are safe. Send an email to [email protected], and we'll instruct you on how to recover your ADA tokens.

Collateral and locked ADA

Why are some of my ADA tokens locked?

If you hold Cardano tokens or NFTs at your Cardano address or interact with web3 apps or dApps, you might have noticed that some of your ADA tokens are locked.

For Cardano tokens and NFTs, the Cardano network requires you to lock away some ADA for every Cardano token and NFT your wallet holds. The amount of ADA locked is not fixed and can change depending on how many Cardano tokens and NFTs you hold.

To unlock your ADA that is locked for Cardano tokens and NFTs, you need to send out the Cardano tokens and NFTs that you hold in your wallet.

When interacting with web3 apps or dApps, you might need to lock some ADA as collateral. In Exodus, you can unlock collateral at any time. To learn more about collateral and how to unlock it, see the sections below.

What is collateral?

To interact with a smart contract on the Cardano network, you must first set collateral.

Setting collateral means setting aside some of your Cardano (ADA) to cover network fees if a transaction fails.

Examples of interacting with Cardano smart contracts include using a web3 app to purchase an NFT, and swapping Cardano tokens using a DEX.

If a transaction involving a smart contract fails, collateral compensates the node that tried to confirm the transaction for its work. Collateral won't be used if your transaction succeeds.

With Exodus, you will be prompted to set ADA collateral the first time you interact with Cardano web3 apps. Once you approve this transaction, 5 ADA will be locked as collateral so you can interact with web3 apps. You can unlock the collateral at any time.

When prompted to set collateral, take a moment to a) read the messaging, b) note the amount of ADA you approve to be reserved as collateral, then c) click Approve.

How do I unlock my ADA collateral?

Currently, you can only unlock collateral with Exodus Web3 Wallet.

  1. To unlock ADA collateral, open your Web3 Wallet. a) Click the Wallet icon, b) then select Cardano.

  2. Beneath the balance, you will see a message showing how much ADA is locked. Click on the message.

  3. Here, you can see the ADA that is locked for ADA tokens and NFTs and also what is locked as collateral. To unlock the collateral, click Unlock Collateral

  4. You will see a screen that confirms your ADA has been unlocked. Click OK.

How do I see my locked balance inside of Exodus?

It is possible to see your locked ADA balance in Exodus Desktop and Web3 Wallet, Here’s how


On Exodus Desktop, the amount of ADA you have locked will be shown to you inside the Cardano wallet.

Web3 Wallet

  1. In your Web3 Wallet, you can view the ADA you have locked in your Cardano wallet by clicking on the message below your balance.

  2. You will be shown the ADA balance that is locked for native tokens, NFTs, and any locked collateral.

Cardano tokens and NFTs

Can I send Cardano tokens or Cardano NFTs to Exodus?

Exodus currently supports Cardano NFTs on Exodus Web3 Wallet and Mobile. To learn more, visit the article: What is the NFT Gallery in Exodus?

Custom Cardano tokens are supported on Exodus Web3 Wallet, Desktop, and Mobile. For a guide on how to add Cardano tokens, visit: How do I add a custom token?

What should I do if I accidentally send an unsupported Cardano NFT to Exodus Desktop?

Currently, Exodus Desktop does not support Cardano NFTs.

If you've sent a Cardano NFT to Exodus Desktop, you can access your NFTs by syncing Exodus Desktop to Exodus Mobile or Exodus Web3 Wallet.

Once synced, you can access your Cardano NFTs from the NFT Gallery.

How do I sweep my Trezor for ADA?

If you sent ADA to your Trezor portfolio using an older version of Exodus, your ADA might not show up. In this case, you would need to sweep your Trezor for ADA.

This means that your wallet scans your Trezor Cardano addresses for ADA. If ADA is found at other addresses, you can transfer it to your Trezor Cardano address in Exodus.

  1. In Exodus Desktop, connect your Trezor to Exodus.

  2. Open your Cardano (ADA) Trezor wallet in Exodus. a) Click the menu, then b) click Sweep funds.

  3. Click Sweep to transfer the ADA to your Trezor Cardano address in Exodus.

    Sweeping your Trezor for ADA will incur a transaction fee.

  4. Next, you will need to confirm the transaction on your Trezor.

  5. On the Trezor screen, tap Show Simple.

  6. Check the address you are sending to, then tap Continue.

  7. Check the amount you are sending, then tap Confirm.

  8. Tap and hold Hold to confirm to send the transaction.

  9. In Exodus, to return to your wallet, click OK. Your ADA will soon appear at your Trezor Cardano address in Exodus.

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