Dogecoin is yet another cryptographic online currency in the vein of Bitcoin. Apparently beginning as a parody of Bitcoin, based on some silly Internet meme having to do with dogs, it has actually gone into some degree of actual use, and has an exchange rate with bitcoins, US dollars, and other currencies. Granted, that exchange rate is in the order of tiny fractions of a cent per coin rather than the hundreds of dollars for Bitcoin, but there is a value there... enough that somebody apparently hacked into a dogecoin trading system and stole tens of thousands of dollars worth of them.
Since online currencies of this sort are not issued by governments, made legal tender by law, or backed by anything (the way paper dollars used to be backed by gold), none of them is inherently more "legitimate" than any other; they're only worth what you can manage to convince other people to pay for them. Any perception that may develop that a particular sort of "coin" is valuable or worthless can feed on itself and lead to waves of hyperinflation/deflation.
And the "is-it-a-joke-or-not" cybercurrencies didn't stop with Dogecoin... see also Coinye. Meanwhile, if you want your doge in programming language form instead of crypographic currencies, there's Dogescript. The human-language aspects of dogespeak are discussed here.
- Wikipedia article
- Dogecoin site
- Dogecoin resources
- Dogecoin Reddit
- Dogecoin, a virtual currency that started as a joke, gets real with its first big hack
- Doge meme
- How A Virtual Currency Named After A Meme Is Helping Jamaica Have A Bobsled Team — Again
- Researchers find Android apps that covertly mine Dogecoin, one of them with more than a million downloads (2014-03-27)
- Dogecoin Disaster: Such Sad. So Danger of Unsupervised Currency Markets.