I think there’s more to be gained from seeing blockchain derived currency as a novel financial product. Those investing in bitcoin mining (and thus powering the entire ecosystem via their investment in specialised hardware) are seeing it in entirely this way. At the moment bitcoin provides a guaranteed return on investment with a low and manageable risk, just like CDOs used to.

The second parallel is one of fungibility – miners process one or more transactions and it doesn’t matter where they come from. Every transaction is deemed to be equal, even though this isn’t the case. Currently (like in the early days of CDOs…) this assumption doesn’t matter – but bitcoin has a crash designed into it, where miners will (apparently – no one has tried this) make money from transaction percentages. Suddenly a small transaction or a cancelled transaction – which still must be processed – is worth a lot less.

I’m not buying the automated management voodoo – someone (an anonymous someone) has written a set of instructions which is followed by a dumb machine. This is automated management in the sense that a robot in a factory is automated management… we’re misassigning the management role.
The “manager” of bitcoin is the originator of the software, though he/she/they/it have declared that they have no wish to make further interventions (like the libertarian dream of a central bank). So in a sense, the currency is now unmanaged.

Can we make educational management redundant – yes (by glorious and bloody revolution!!). But management by algorithm just obfuscates where the real decisions are taken (again, the CDO and equity investment parallel – or for an eduspecific example, look at Prof Grimm’s terrible experience…)