As many of you have heard of Bitcoin, Litecoin, and Dash, and questioned their validity, perhaps you have also come across the term ‘cryptocurrencies’ and have wondered what this is, too. Perhaps you’ve done some research into online crypto banking and have even considered investing in this Internet-based financial system. But perhaps you don’t feel completely confident in the reliability and security of a monetary exchange platform that’s hit the financial world so recently.

That’s okay. Cryptocurrency transactions are a new concept for many. But this approach to marketplace exchange is growing in popularity. Cryptocurrencies are Internet-based currencies, and many financial institutions are integrating this digital coinage into their systems as the world tends toward digitization. An analyst for the French bank, BNP Paribas, considers this a game changer in the financial marketplace, likening it to the innovation of the steam or combustion engine, “having the potential to transform the world of finance and beyond.”

A UK Banking report published in March, 2015, states that “Bitcoin users can handle many of their daily payment needs themselves, without the need for interaction with banks, and avoiding the need to incur bank fees.” Jonathan Tarud, on his online banking blog points out that “digital currencies are transacted in open source environments.” Like hard currencies, digital currencies require extensive account validations.

So why should you consider investing in cryptocurrencies? These digital currencies can offer benefits that circumnavigate issues with traditional banking, such as fees that are applied if deposits are timed to post after withdrawals. With cryptocurrencies, there’s no waiting – deposits and withdrawals are instantaneous. Cryptocurrencies also may open avenues for loans to people who may not be successful accessing lending from traditional banks. Chris Skinner, author of Digital Bank, says that “people who could not access trade and finance ten years ago can do so today. This will lift many out of poverty.”

If you are considering opening an account of Bitcoin or other cryptocurrency, you’re moving forward toward a financial paradigm that may become standard in the near future. Regardless of the benefits and security associated with cryptocurrency, when the time comes to open your own account, it’s wise to pay attention to the terms, and ensure that you understand all transaction fees. Reputable online crypto banks offer an extra layer of security for cryptocurrencies, and it’s smart to check out these resources as options for storing your crypto cash, as relying on damageable hardware such as computers and phones can be a risk. By knowing exactly what you’re signing up for, you can avoid heartache, and you can better explore the agility you’ll have in the financial marketplace through the use of cryptocurrency.