Welcome to the weird, wild world of cybercurrencies, where Bitcoin is king and Catcoin, BBQcoin, Sexcoin, Coinye, and HoboNickels form the palace court. (Well, maybe not HoboNickels.) There are now more than 70 Bitcoin alternatives, according to one list, a financial marketplace worth more than $12 billion.
Bitcoin, created in 2009 by an anonymous programmer using the name Satoshi Nakamoto, rose to $1,200 last year before falling back to about $900 today. All Bitcoins in circulation are worth about $10 billion today, and more merchants have begun accepting the currency. Even some Girl Scouts are taking Bitcoins now.