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The Future of Money

How the Digital Revolution Is Transforming Currencies and Finance

Eswar S. Prasad

ISBN 9780674258440

Publication date: 09/21/2021

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An Economist Best Book of the Year


A Financial Times Best Book of the Year


A Foreign Affairs Best Book of the Year


A ProMarket Best Political Economy Book of the Year


One of The Week’s Ten Best Business Books of the Year

A cutting-edge look at how accelerating financial change, from the end of cash to the rise of cryptocurrencies, will transform economies for better and worse.

We think we’ve seen financial innovation. We bank from laptops and buy coffee with the wave of a phone. But these are minor miracles compared with the dizzying experiments now underway around the globe, as businesses and governments alike embrace the possibilities of new financial technologies. As Eswar Prasad explains, the world of finance is at the threshold of major disruption that will affect corporations, bankers, states, and indeed all of us. The transformation of money will fundamentally rewrite how ordinary people live.

Above all, Prasad foresees the end of physical cash. The driving force won’t be phones or credit cards but rather central banks, spurred by the emergence of cryptocurrencies to develop their own, more stable digital currencies. Meanwhile, cryptocurrencies themselves will evolve unpredictably as global corporations like Meta and Amazon join the game. The changes will be accompanied by snowballing innovations that are reshaping finance and have already begun to revolutionize how we invest, trade, insure, and manage risk.

Prasad shows how these and other changes will redefine the very concept of money, unbundling its traditional functions as a unit of account, medium of exchange, and store of value. The promise lies in greater efficiency and flexibility, increased sensitivity to the needs of diverse consumers, and improved market access for the unbanked. The risk is instability, lack of accountability, and erosion of privacy. A lucid, visionary work, The Future of Money shows how to maximize the best and guard against the worst of what is to come.

Praise

  • A strength of [Prasad’s] analysis is his mastery of both technical details and big-picture trade-offs…As it loses physical form, money’s meaning will become ever harder to grasp. This book explores the economic and social effects of that upheaval, giving shape to this most abstract of concepts.

    —The Economist

Author

  • Eswar S. Prasad is the Tolani Senior Professor of Trade Policy and Professor of Economics at Cornell University. He is also a Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution, where he holds the New Century Chair in International Economics, and a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research. He is the author of Gaining Currency: The Rise of the Renminbi and The Dollar Trap: How the U.S. Dollar Tightened Its Grip on Global Finance.

Book Details

  • 496 pages
  • 6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches
  • Belknap Press

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