Bitcoin first appeared in 2009, and it's already challenging everything we've come to accept about money, financial institutions, and even government. The digital currency can be nearly anonymous. And it can be traded internationally—without the fees, government regulation, and bank oversight of paper money. But Bitcoin is still risky. Its value fluctuates wildly. More than $400 million of it disappeared overnight with the fall of a single trading exchange. How is that possible? And why is it so popular? CNNMoney reporter Jose Pagliery explains it all. He details the digital currency's mysterious origins. He explores the dark side of Bitcoin: a world of drugs and assassins for hire. And he examines the economic impact of this revolutionary concept through interviews with pensive economists, wary bank regulators, and free market proponents such as Ron Paul. Bitcoin: And the Future of Money explains how it works and why it matters. The book is essential reading for anyone looking to understand a financial innovation that will forever change how we think about money.