Finance is changing dramatically. A new book explains how

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The Future of Money. By Eswar Prasad. Belknap Press; 496 pages; $35 and £28.95

FOR MOST people, money still means physical cash printed by a sole, public authority. Yet that is a surprisingly modern incarnation: only a century ago, private currencies competed with government-issued banknotes. It may be short-lived, too, as cash succumbs to the digitalisation of finance and new means of payment take over. This big bang will have huge implications for states, people and companies. Whether it does more good than harm, says Eswar Prasad, depends on the world’s dowdiest institutions—central banks—embracing change without losing control.

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