With cryptocurrency, money can now be software. There can be programmed rules for how money behaves. The ability to program money seems subtle, but small changes to the rules of money can have large effects on the behavior of the holders of that money. For a historical example of primitive money software influencing a population, see The Wörgl Experiment of 1932. For a modern example, consider how bitcoin incentivized thousands of people around the world to mine it.
Markets work not because anyone is trying to make them work. No one trading in a market is trying to make that market efficient. The efficiency is merely a byproduct of the market participants believing in the value of the money abstraction, and then selfishly trying to get more of it.
Mechanism design is often referred to as reverse game theory because we start with a desired outcome and then work backwards to design a game that, if players pursue their own self interest, will produce the outcome we want. For instance, imagine we are responsible for designing the rules of an auction. We have an objective that we want bidders to actually bid the real value they place on an item. To achieve this, we apply economic theory to design the auction as a game where the dominant strategy for any player is to always bid their true value. One solution to this problem is called a Vickrey auction, where bids are secret and the winner of the auction (defined as the player with the highest bid) only pays the second highest amount that was bid.