Current Magento version is 2.1.7, So Is it safe to upgrade it to 2.2.3?
Or Should upgrade it to 2.1.12(latest in 2.1.x series)?
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You should go with Magento 2.2.3 Its more Stable compare to 2.1.x.
Also there's new add-Ons like Advacned reports, Dotmailer, elastic search etc.
For more updates regarding this check below references. Dev Docs
Hope it will help you !!
You should upgrade to lastest 2.2.3 version.
Yes,should be some issue when you will upgrade to latest one.
PHP version, magento 2.2.3 only support php 7.decrypted php 5 version. http://devdocs.magento.com/guides/v2.2/release-notes/ReleaseNotes2.2.0EE.html
Transfer all serialize to fields to json fields at database. See magento doc http://devdocs.magento.com/guides/v2.2/release-notes/backward-incompatible-changes.html
Also check Magento 2.2.1 - Possible upgrade issues
But most advance to upgrade to 2.2.3 that is magento bag ,Lot of magento bugs resolved at 2.2.0 version and also site speed improved.
My suggest to upgrade at 2.2.3.