> Maybe this will be an object lesson for the libertarian
I'm sure it will be, but not the lesson you are thinking of.
Some attributes of this problem:
* The currency itself is not affiliated with the crashing "bank". so you have seen exchange rates dip somewhat, there is no fundamental crash for the cryptocurrency
* Numerous exchanges and other pseudo-exchanges have stayed open and operational for this whole saga, allowing liquididty in and out of the cryptocurrency
* Use/Exchange of cryptocurrency does not require blind trust in the fundamental sense, so those who kept their balances in trust exchanges minimal to nil, lost nothing
* This "crash" was not sudden or mysterious. Those with the slightest modicum of common sense got out long ago. Other's with a taste for danger kept in or bought in up to the last minute. But just like playing with penny stocks, the risk was very high.
* MtGOX itself was a form of ponzi scheme. You could also have a ponzi scheme based on chicken eggs, or bottle caps. This does not mean that eggs themselves are a ponzi scheme, and neither are bitcoins.
On the other side of the coin, any form for exchange is backed with trust. So long as people continue to trust in the cryptographic and stability of the network itself. Those appear to remain strong, and merchants accepting the currency semi-directly continue to operate.
The lesson learned: crypto currency can sustain major scandals denominated in itself and not be fundamentally broken. Also, its possible for exchanges and reserve banks to prove solvency cryptographically, and doing so will become the "FDIC" equivalent for the crypto currency world.