As I see it, the most positive thing about this is that Coinlab - and investors - will have to report Bitcoin-related income to the IRS. They'll have more legal power at hand than a typical miner, and any precedents that they set will be that much better for all of us.
Today nobody can say with certainty how their mined bitcoins are viewed by tax authorities and regulators. Are mined Bitcons a security, a commodity, or a currency? When they are sold do you pay capital gains? If so, how do you determine cost basis? Do you need to keep records of which bitcoins were sold and to whom, and to keep those records for 5 years? Or are there thresholds, sell under $1K per day and nobody cares?
CoinLab's Jack Jolley was in the Treasury group at Microsoft. I suspect there are now (or will be soon) some conversations that will result in a more clear understanding on these topics that will result from CoinLab's pioneering.
Imagine all the sad kids with Nvidia equipment.
As the prices for used ATI GPUs are dropping fast (5970s selling below $300 on eBay, crikey!) the timing for this couldn't be any better! Many Nvidia owners will be tempted to
switch over to an ATI card so that they can get their in-game credits. To a gamer the new card brings dual benefit, ... better payout versus the Nvidia card when using CoinLab software and a better gaming experience after the upgrade.
Any miner that might be considering selling GPUs in the next year will probably be benefiting thanks to this development from CoinLab.