Cryptocurrency has been having quite the year. While the biggest names in crypto -- Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Dogecoin -- have been gaining most of the attention, there have been countless new cryptocurrencies popping up lately.

One of the newest digital currencies is SafeMoon, which launched in March of this year and has already gained more than 2 million buyers. 

It's also the fifth-most-visited page on CoinMarketCap, a price-tracking cryptocurrency website. Based on CoinMarketCap's rankings, SafeMoon is searched for more often than Ethereum, one of the hottest cryptocurrencies available.

Although SafeMoon has been making waves in the crypto world, that alone doesn't necessarily make it a good investment. Here's what you need to know about the trendiest new cryptocurrency.

Moon in the night sky behind a lighthouse.

Image source: Getty Images.

What is SafeMoon?

With so many different cryptocurrencies available, it can be tough to tell them apart. There are a couple of things that differentiate SafeMoon from other digital currencies, however.

For one, investors are charged a 10% fee if they choose to sell their tokens. The purpose of this fee is to encourage investors to hold their tokens for the long term. In theory, that should reduce SafeMoon's price volatility, because there won't be as many day traders and short-term investors buying and selling throughout the day.

Every time an investor sells a SafeMoon token and pays the 10% fee, a portion of that money is distributed to other SafeMoon investors, and some of it is destroyed permanently. So as more investors sell SafeMoon, there are fewer tokens available overall. SafeMoon's creators believe that scarcity could increase the crypto's value, similar to the way that Bitcoin's limited availability is said to make it more valuable over time.

Is SafeMoon actually safe?

All cryptocurrencies carry a certain amount of risk, but SafeMoon is one of the riskiest. In order for any cryptocurrency to survive over the long run, it needs to have some sort of intrinsic value.

Right now, SafeMoon doesn't serve any real purpose. The vast majority of businesses don't accept cryptocurrency at all, and SafeMoon is so new that it's unlikely to gain traction anytime soon. Without any real-world utility, it will be tough for SafeMoon to succeed over time.

SafeMoon also uses the Binance Smart Chain, which is a key difference from decentralized ecosystems used by Bitcoin and Ethereum. With decentralized crypto, there is no central authority. In other words, it's not controlled by any one company, government, or country. Binance is a centralized ecosystem, and it has full control over its blockchain technology. That means that it has the power to change anything about its system at any time.

That's not necessarily a bad thing, but it does require SafeMoon investors to trust that Binance will do what's in the cryptocurrency's best interest. Considering the fact that decentralization is one of the key advantages of crypto, SafeMoon's centralized system could be a disadvantage.

In addition, security company CertiK performed an audit on SafeMoon and found a major vulnerability. CertiK found that a significant portion of the seller fees go to a single account controlled by one of SafeMoon's owners. If that account is compromised in some way, it could put SafeMoon investors at risk.

Should you invest right now?

Whether you choose to invest in SafeMoon depends on your personal preferences and tolerance for risk. If you have cash to spare and are willing to take a gamble, you may be able to make a bit of money with this investment if you're lucky. But SafeMoon is a very risky type of cryptocurrency, and considering its lack of utility and its security issues, there are plenty of better investments out there.