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Cryptocurrency has sprung up as a household term in recent years.

A decentralized currency designed to make financial transactions secure, untraceable, and virtually impervious to hacking or manipulation, cryptocurrency is taking the world by storm.

It’s much more than just a way to pay for things, though. Here are just a few of the ways cryptocurrency is changing the world for the better.


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1. Crypto has Reduced the Risk of Fraud

Fraud is one of the largest concerns in the financial world. Luckily, cryptocurrency makes it much less likely. Because cryptocurrency is not associated with a bank account or any cash funds, it’s ultra-secure. The blockchain records all transactions, which reduces fraud and offers a sense of peace for users.

In addition to reducing fraud risks, crypto has also allowed people to take increased control of their money, which restores power to consumers and promotes new types of spending.


2. It Has Simplified Money Transfers

Wire and bank-to-bank money transfers can take a great deal of time to clear, which is frustrating for users. With blockchain and crypto, though, money transfers are instant and secure.

Because crypto doesn’t require the same compliance and checks as a bank-initiated transfer, they’re fee-free, secure, and easy to track and store.

When it comes to foreign transactions, blockchain and cryptocurrency stand to make the process less vulnerable to fraud, faster, and more secure.

What’s more, crypto means people no longer have to carry cash or cash cards when traveling in a foreign country, which reduces the risk of robbery and theft.


3. Cryptocurrency is a Stable Alternative to Unstable Currencies

Global currency is a notoriously unstable market, but blockchain and cryptocurrency can help. Because crypto is accepted worldwide and not vulnerable to the instability and inflation associated with standard currencies, it allows people a financial alternative that’s free of exchange and interest rate changes and is not as volatile as cash funds.


4. Cryptocurrency is Highly Scalable

Most companies spend a significant portion of their time searching for platforms or programs that can be built out for a specific product or service.

Scalability is a difficult pursuit, and traditional currencies have been notoriously bad at supporting it. Cryptocurrency, though, is built to scale, which makes it an obvious choice for fast-growing businesses.


5. Crypto Encourages Science

Cryptocurrency and blockchain make a powerful duo when taken together. Because crypto and blockchain help alter the scientific roadblocks faced by science professionals, they allow researchers to bypass issues like data lags, un-shareable information, and the monopoly held by major institutions. This, in turn, allows researchers to make important discoveries and keep driving knowledge and development forward.

This is as true in third-world countries as it is for the U.S. In fact, crypto has allowed third-world countries to enjoy hubs of innovation and discovery. Think of a Silicon Valley in India. Cryptocurrency and Blockchain make it possible.


The Future of Cryptocurrency

Cryptocurrency will only continue to become more popular in coming years. As the industry continues to evolve and change, and adoption rates rise, crypto will begin to have profound effects on a variety of new industries. It will also continue to infiltrate the individual consumer market, changing the way people purchase and pay for things, and interact with money as a whole.

Coins in a scattered pile

With the wild fluctuations in the crypto market recently, it’s hard for investors to know whether blockchain technology and the digital tokens they produce is still worth the investment.

However, even with the crazy highs and lows, most agree that blockchain technology is the future of finance, even if they are unsure of what companies and coins will be paving the way forward.

With popular coins such as Bitcoin, Etherum, and Litecoin losing significant value on the crypto market recently, here are five cryptocurrencies that have tremendous growth potential, making them very attractive to investors in 2018.


[RELATED: Find out everything you need to know about getting started in the cryptocurrency market!]


1. Oyster (PRL)

Oyster is a new cryptocurrency that bills itself as the “future of website monetization and storage.” They believe they can solve the problems with online advertising with just one piece of code and have already proactively taken steps to address issues with privacy such as sharing data and storage.


2. VeChain

Based out of China, VeChain is managed by Sunny Liu who has been a C-level executive at several Fortune 500 companies. Many investors consider VeChain to be one of the most underrated cryptocurrencies in the market today making it an alluring investment in 2018. The goal of VeChain is to help Chinese corporations developing supply chain solutions and counteract counterfeiting which is a major issue for many Chinese companies.



IOTA is one of the most promising cryptocurrencies on the market in 2018. David Sinstebo, Dominik Schiener, Dr. Serguei Popv, and Sergey Ivancheglo invented IOTA in 2015. One of the more enticing features of IOTA is the underlying technology used to create the cryptocurrency is constantly being updated, with plans to make the platform available to a wider audience over time. IOTA’s value is predicted to increase fourfold over the next five years, making it an extremely inviting investment for investors moving forward.


4. Ripple (XRP)

Ripple survived much of last year’s run-up in value and subsequent downfall of cryptocurrencies flush with cash. In doing so, they are trying to get companies (and individuals) to use their digital coin XRP in the manner it was intended: for payment of goods and services.

To that end, they’ve had some high profile successes with a $4 million giveaway on the Ellen DeGeneres show and a $29 million giveaway to teachers on Steven Colbert’s late night talk show. Ripple recently entered into a research project with MIT to develop blockchain, financial services, and other enterprise data projects.


5. Steemit (STEEM)

While most cryptocurrencies were trading in the red, Steemit saw a 30 percent increase in its value this year. Not a cryptocurrency many investors are aware of, Steemit is one of the blogging and social media platforms that has integrated cryptocurrency into its concept.

On Steemit, users are rewarded with tokens for making comments, writing blogs and creating other popular content on the social networking platform. The tokens they receive for their work can be converted into the form of payments whenever necessary.

While there is still some concern for how viable this social content meets cryptocurrency model is, it’s current rise in popularity makes it an investment worth looking into moving forward.

So there you have it: five cryptocurrencies that are potentially good investments in 2018. While the above cryptocurrencies are promising, make sure that — before investing — you do your due diligence on the companies and the underlying technology powering them.