This is really interesting! I like the idea of there being more of a relationship between lender and borrower. I'm also really into the idea of loans themselves having personality. What if it was nice to have a loan because it reminded you of the person who gave it to you, or if it was more like a pet, that as you pay it off, it grows up and flies out of the nest (your bank acct.)
Really interesting point! The bitcoin connections is tenuous, as you identified. It was mostly just a starting point.
Re: Investing in the person. The reason we strayed away from that was that some of the people we talked to felt really vulnerable and embarrassed trying to "sell" themselves. We thought that by making it about the objects & things, it might take the pressure off of them being awesome. One of the things we had in mind is that the best loan network would be something that the average person can participate.
The pay it forward idea is really interesting! I was thinking about how with Bitcoin, there is a limited number of bitcoins. It could be really interesting if you could donate a Bitcoin (Maybe you can give it your name or something?) and that specific Bitcoin is passed down to future users. The interesting thing about Bitcoin is that you can (in fact you need to) track the history of each bitcoin. It could be interesting to see the history of one bitcoin empowering many different people.