One of the most common reasons I hear that Bitcoin is "not ready for prime time" is that because of its wildly oscillating valuation businesses can't accept bitcoins without becoming speculators. In my own experience trying to use bitcoins for business, I have found this to be quite true--at the very least, it is a significant problem.
The most common solution I hear offered for this problem is that the emergence of a stable, high-volume futures market may allow for businesses to transact in bitcoins while ignoring market volatility.
If this is the case, it leads me to wonder--is there any way to incorporate some sort of futures market directly into the Bitcoin protocol? That way bitcoins themselves, like gold, could oscillate up and down according to market demand, but through some sort of digital derivative on them, people could trade much more stable values. Are there theoretical and practical barriers to this? What are they?