September 7, 2018

What is Cryptocurrency? The Practical Use Cases of Cryptocurrency

what is cryptocurrency

Cryptocurrency is a global phenomenon known to most people, yet very much still intricately unfamiliar.

More and more cryptocurrencies are entering the coin market cap along with consistent cryptocurrency projects being added to the blockchain ecosystem. The main question is why?

Do digital currency simply act as a secure medium for cryptocurrency exchange? Or is there actual practical value in cryptocurrency? Beyond all the hype, these a few of many questions asked by Coindirect customers or prospective cryptocurrency investors.

Cryptocurrency was originally built around the idea of Satoshi Nakamoto’s decentralised digital cash system. Though, the more issues that Bitcoin is unable to resolve, the more changes there are in the revolutionising cryptocurrency market. In turn, there are many practical use cases currently fulfilled by cryptocurrencies.


Store of Value (SoV)

The below cryptocurrencies are used as a store of values (SoV), as well as for transaction purposes; for example, making payments. Using cryptocurrency – rather than fiat currency – as a store of value could offer various benefits. Here, users prevent third-parties from handling their money and avoid paying high cross-border transaction charges brought by remittance by trading cryptocurrency pairs. By trading cryptocurrencies, users also ensure security over their digital assets and can avoid hyperinflation during an unstable economic period; for example, the 2018 South Africa recession.

  • Bitcoin (BTC)
  • Litecoin (LTC)
  • Bitcoin Cash (BCH)
  • Dash (DASH)
  • Nano (NANO)
  • Decred (DCR)
  • Bitcoin Gold (BTG)
  • Dogecoin (DOGE)
  • MonaCoin (MONA)
  • DigiByte (DGB)
  • Electroneum (ETN)
  • Tether (USDT)


Protocols, Exchanges and Interoperability

These altcoins are projects that have been built for decentralized infrastructures. Essentially, these altcoins can be used to exchange cryptocurrencies. Their infrastructures also help to resolve the issues plaguing the progression of blockchain development, by enabling communication between different blockchains.

  • Binance Coin (BNB)
  • Waves (WAVES)
  • Kyber Network (KNC)
  • Huobi Token (HT)
  • BitShares (BTS)
  • KuCoin Shares (KCS)
  • 0x (ZRX)
  • Bytom (BTM)
  • Loopring (LRC)
  • Gifto (GTO)
  • Bancor (BNT)
  • QuantStamp (QSP)
  • ICON (ICX)
  • Wanchain (WAN)
  • Ark (ARK)
  • Mixin (XIN)
  • Aion (AION)
  • Hshare (HSR)


Computing, Data Management & Cloud Services

The cloud computing market is massive and many projects are underway to decentralise cloud computing. These cryptocurrency projects have been developed for the use cases of computing, data storage, data security, and cloud services which include file storage and cloud computing.

  • Golem (GNT)
  • Siacoin (SIA)
  • Byteball Bytes (GBYTE)
  • Aelf (ELF)
  • MaidSafeCoin (MAID)
  • (RLC)
  • Storj (STORJ)
  • GXChain (GXS)
  • Holo (HOT)



Many decentralised platforms have been built for applications that run on smart contracts. These applications are listed below. Smart contracts can, essentially, be used to cut out the middleman when buying and selling in real estate; analyse held information and process quick transactions in banking; filing and sorting healthcare data; track agricultural and logistics data. Here’s how Kenya has leveraged the Ethereum blockchain to boost its logistics industry: Kenya’s First Cryptocurrency Project Boosts Logistics Industry.

  • Ethereum (ETH)
  • Cardano (ADA)
  • EOS (EOS)
  • NEO (NEO)
  • Ethereum Classic (ETC)
  • Qtum (QTUM)
  • Zilliqa (ZIL)
  • NEM (NEM)
  • Lisk (LSK)
  • RChain (RHOC)
  • Nxt (NXT)
  • Elastos (ELA)
  • Skycoin (SKY)


Gaming, Media & Social

Until now, the gaming, social and publishing industry have forced gamers, influencers and content writers to provide free services in exchange for a few ‘likes’, ‘followers’, ‘responses’ and sharing advertising revenues. The blockchain provides an opportunity to change this dynamic. Any content published on the below content accepting platforms will be rewarded in the relevant cryptocurrency. Respectively, this applies to social media content as well. In addition, gamers can receive incentives in the form of digital tokens.

  • Steem (STEEM)
  • Tron (TRX)
  • Basic Attention Token (BAT)
  • Loom Network (LOOM)
  • Nebulas (NAS)
  • Status (SNT)
  • Reddcoin (RDD)
  • Kin (KIN)
  • FunFair (FUN)
  • Worldwide Asset Exchange (WAX)
  • Revain (R)


Privacy Coins

With several cases of third-parties breaking the anonymity of Bitcoin (BTC) users, privacy coins have been developed to resolve the issue. The following cryptocurrencies can be used to perform anonymous or untraceable transactions.

  • Monero (XMR)
  • Zcash (ZEC)
  • Bytecoin (BCN)
  • Verge (XVG)
  • Bitcoin Diamond (BCD)
  • Bitcoin Private (BTCP)
  • Komodo (KMD)
  • NavCoin (NAV)
  • Enigma (ENG)
  • Zcoin (XZC)
  • ZenCash (ZEN)
  • CloakCoin (CLOAK)



The below cryptocurrencies have been developed for banks, payment providers, digital asset exchanges and corporates. The underlying infrastructure of the altcoins connects these institutions to provide a seamless experience to users who want to send money globally. Using the cryptocurrency infrastructure, banks are able to process and track cross-border payments in real-time; payment providers are able to process faster payments; various corporates can connect with financial institutions for more reliable transactions, and exchanges are able to source liquidity for payments.

  • Ripple (XRP)
  • Stellar (XLM)
  • OmiseGo (OMG)
  • Populous (PPT)
  • Polymath (POLY)
  • MakerDAO (MKR)



While the below cryptocurrencies lets you access particular services and enables finance and digital security, users can leverage the blockchain to secure cash loans. For example, SALT is a smart contract-lending platform which uses cryptocurrency-backed collateral.

  • DigixDAO (DGD)
  • Request Network (REQ)
  • Iconomi (ICN)
  • TenX (PAY)
  • Fusion (FSN)
  • Salt (SALT)
  • Ethos (ETHOS)
  • Monaco (MCO)



Many cryptocurrencies can be used to help businesses improve their efficiency, transparency, and security. These include:

  • VeChainThor (VET)
  • Waltonchain (WTC)
  • Stratis (STRAT)
  • Ontology (ONT)
  • Ardor (ARDR)
  • IOStoken (IOST)
  • Dragonchain (DRGN)
  • Factom (FCT)
  • Centrality (CENNZ)
  • Ubiq (UBQ)
  • Emercoin (EMC)
  • Nuls (NULS)
  • Neblio (NEBL)
  • Syscoin (SYS)

Prediction markets, oracles, betting platforms and AI-related projects

Cryptocurrencies continue to disrupt industries by providing a solution to their limitations. These decentralised digital currencies have developed projects to improve energy and electrical distribution, dental healthcare transactions in cryptocurrency, integration into the vehicle industry for direct transactions into charging stations and many more. The cryptocurrencies that can be used here include:

  • Augur (REP)
  • Aragon (ANT)
  • DentaCoin (DCN)
  • Power Ledger (POWR)
  • Aeternity (AE)
  • Storm (STORM)
  • Substratum (SUB)
  • Cortex (CTXC)
  • WaykiChain (WICC)


Coindirect, Africa’s most comprehensive cryptocurrency exchange, supports Bitcoin and over 40 altcoins, including ERC20 tokens, and offers 15 cryptocurrency trading pairs. You already have access to our integrated exchange with 50% off trading fees until the end of October 2018 (0.1% on crypto to crypto trades and 0.4% on fiat to crypto trades).

Access our integrated platform and #OwnTheFuture with Coindirect.


Disclaimer: This article should not be taken as financial advice. Never invest what you can’t afford to lose as the cryptocurrency market is volatile. Always research as much as possible before buying any coin.