The Future of Money

The Future of Money : How the Digital Revolution Is Transforming Currencies and Finance

3.85 (501 ratings by Goodreads)
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3.85 (501 ratings by Goodreads)

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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 Facebook 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.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 496 pages
  • 156 x 235 x 42.16mm | 920.79g
  • Cambridge, Mass, United States
  • English
  • 17 photos, 8 illus.
  • 0674258444
  • 9780674258440
  • 46,372

Review quote

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 * An in-depth look at how our wallets are set to evolve. -- Enda Curran * Bloomberg * Prasad aims to pull together some of the threads about bitcoin and such like to set out a big picture on money...Prasad's helpful discussion of the pressures on, and options available to, central banks was illuminating. I found his framing of the ways in which these new technologies simultaneously make regulation both easier and more difficult interesting. -- David Birch * Financial World * Digital technologies are also transforming the world of finance. Prasad provides an invaluable overview of what this might mean: physical money will disappear; central bank money will compete with the new private versions; financial intermediation will be transformed; and new opportunities will open to the world's population. -- Martin Wolf * Financial Times * Demystifies the esoteric world of cryptocurrencies...Prasad's analysis is the best single point of entry for those interested in the nitty-gritty of digital finance. -- Barry Eichengreen * Foreign Affairs * A road map for money managers, market strategists, and others seeking to understand this new world. -- Reshma Kapadia * Barron's * As money has become free to move around the world, Prasad probes how digital innovation is reshaping it as both a tool and a concept. -- Paola Subacchi * Nature * An ambitious book, covering the diverse landscape of digital money, and one that will remain relevant for years to come. -- Daniel Kuhn * CoinDesk * In The Future of Money Eswar Prasad explains how technology will impact everything financial, from what money will look like to peer-to-peer lending, central banking, and cross-border capital flows. In lucid prose, Prasad explains to the intelligent layperson how exactly Bitcoin works and whether a digital renminbi could challenge the US dollar. If you are looking for an insightful and comprehensive guide to how monetary finance might change, look no further. -- Raghuram G. Rajan, Professor of Finance at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, former Chief Economist of the International Monetary Fund, and former Governor of the Reserve Bank of India Money shapes economies, economies shape nations, nations shape history. It follows that the future of money is profoundly important. Here is a definitive report on where we are and where we are going. -- Lawrence H. Summers, Charles W. Eliot Professor and President Emeritus, Harvard University Prasad's book is the best on the topic so far. In particular, it provides the most complete description of issues and factors that will shape the future of money. Everyone with limited time wanting to have a deeper understanding of money in the 21st century, should read this book. -- Daniel Heller * Central Banking * Drawing on his extensive policymaking experience and insights as one of the leading macroeconomists, Eswar Prasad in The Future of Money provides a comprehensive account of the economic, social, and technological issues that will determine how we save, invest, buy, and sell in the future. -- Mark Carney, former Governor of the Bank of England Comprehensive...and a vital handbook for anyone looking to understand how finance is changing. -- Gavin Jackson * Financial Times * In The Future of Money Eswar Prasad has produced a single-volume masterpiece with all one needs to know about an amazing upcoming turning point in monetary policy. He shows that if we follow his sensible advice and heed his warnings of over-regulation and fear, Central Bank Digital Currency will be a genuine help to the poor and a gateway to global stability. Encyclopedic and carefully researched, the book is packed with many valuable, easy-to-understand examples. -- John B. Taylor, Stanford University A sober-minded and informative take on an overheated topic. * Publishers Weekly * A sweeping survey of fintech, crypto assets, and central bank digital currencies (CBDCs). -- John Detrixhe * Quartz * Very interesting and very worthwhile...I'll be referencing The Future of Money for a long time. -- John Tamny * Forbes * For anyone who really wants to understand how [Bitcoin] works in all its technical splendor, there is no better introduction. -- Benjamin J. Cohen * Project Syndicate * An impressive overview of the many changes digital technologies have already wrought...A sweeping overview of developments in payments, from the specifics of Ant Group's business to the e-krona project and Venezuela's Petro...An engaging read. -- Jon Frost * Finance and Development * An eminently readable work that is accessible and smooth. From banks to cryptocurrencies to fintech, he gives a detailed crash course on the present and lays out breadcrumbs to an uncertain future. As Prasad says, only one thing is for sure, cash is on its way out. What the future holds remains to be seen. * The Week (India) * The book makes a significant contribution. It addresses many wider issues associated with digital currencies and digital finance. These issues include the potential effects on financial stability, the monetary transmission system, domestic and international payment systems, financial inclusion and inequality. It is impressive that so many topics are covered in an accessible manner...[An] excellent book. -- Carlo Cocuzzo and Ian Bright * Society of Professional Economists * Covers everything about digital money, finance, and fintech that anyone would need or want to know. -- Alex Lo * South China Morning Post * A wonderful introduction to, and reference for, the fast-changing world of electronic assets...Fun to read, provides lots of fascinating material for money and banking classes...The book is solid, but the future of privately provided e-money is not. -- Robert P. Flood * Journal of Economic Literature * An interesting and insightful exposition on the shifting landscape from traditional paper notes to digital currencies...The Future of Money provides readers with a window into some of the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead for the financial sector. -- Ronald L. Moy * Enterprising Investor * While written from the perspective of a central bank economist, the book is highly readable and accessible to those without formal training in monetary economics and policy. As it describes projects likely to become reality over the next five to ten years, The Future of Money is relevant for social science scholars interested in technology, digitalization, markets, and organizations. -- Alex Preda * Administrative Science Quarterly *
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About Eswar S. Prasad

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.
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Rating details

3.85 out of 5 stars
- 501 ratings
5 25% (124)
4 44% (218)
3 25% (126)
2 5% (27)
1 1% (6)
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