JP Koning has an interesting post where he argues that the Bitcoin approach of a distributed payments network is superior to a centralized network like Fedwire. His emphasis is on the possibility of the physical destruction of the Fed's central node (and its two backups.) I would be interested in resiliancy regarding unraveling of trades.
Koning explains that the Bitcoin "mining" involves supporting and verifying the network. (It isn't just make work.) While I will grant that this is valuable work, I don't favor a monetary base that only increases or whose increase is limited in this way. Koning didn't comment on that aspect of Bitcoins.