5970s are impossible to get unless you want to pay ransom amount money, 6990s are on waiting lists. Those are short term effects. Long term I believe it has helped moving the computing-as-utility concept one step further, made earthlings much more capable of solving difficult mathematical problems in the future.
Internet bubble left US and some other parts of the world with vast amount of optical fiber communication infrastructure, which benefited survivors for the rest of the decade. If Bitcoin is a bubble (which I don't believe it is) and bursts, other distributed computing projects will enjoy a more abundant resource base.
Hardware industry is being challenged by Bitcoin to produce faster CPU/GPUs with much lower power consumption, rearranging electrons in and out transistors should only use very minimal amount of energy. All those heat Bitcoin miners are dealing with is sign of inefficiencies of computer chips. According to http://www.craville.110mb.com/physics/superconductors.htm "The integration of superconductors into computers could have a big improvement in the speed, capacity and performance of all computers and electric devices ranging from household devices to powerful supercomputers.
.... Also as a result of no resistance, the processors are able to run not only at high speeds but also using less power. In fact, the power level of a superconductor microchip is 100,000 times more efficient than its silicon predecessor."http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-GQmtITMdas
CPU (including GPU) as THE most technologically advance and complex product made on earth, it's the gateway to the future. Any projects or initiatives promoting this advancement will benefit human race long term, and government or organization trying to suppress such movements will be proven corrupt and "on the wrong side of history"