Phil Snyder

UH College of Technology Professor Phil Snyder’s Current Issues in Digital Media class, now in its second year, examines the fast-changing world of digital currency. 

A University of Houston College of Technology class is in its second year of demystifying the concepts and processes inside digital money and the brave new financial world they inhabit.

“In taking this class, my students are opening themselves to a new kind of economic literacy, a system likely to be pivotal in the near future for international trade, global finance, technology, even individual lives,” Phil Snyder, UH College of Technology instructional associate professor who teaches the Current Issues in Digital Media course, as reported in a recent press release from the college based at the UH Sugar Land campus.

The class covers the history and economics of digital money, along with the workings of blockchains and bitcoin miners, and the important role Texas plays within the industry. It also studies the people, groups and events that built or guide the movement.

Included is the November 11 fall of FTX, a cryptocurrency exchange that had spent lavishly to create a philanthropic image, celebrity endorsements and political favors over much of its short existence, according to Snyder.

Many of Bitcoin’s proponents envision its growth into a new decentralized, global currency transferred peer-to-peer on a network that transcends borders. With no banks involved, no national currencies exchanged, and no government leveraging complete control over transactions, such a peer-to-peer digital system of moving funds has the potential to become the chief means of financial payment in global trade, said Snyder.

The concept has its champions and its doubters, according to Snyder. But within the boundaries of the Central American country of El Salvador, the matter has already been decided.

On Sept. 7, 2021, El Salvador became the first country to recognize Bitcoin as an official form of legal tender. Students in Snyder’s class are joining bitcoin watchers around the world in observing El Salvador as a test case.

The class will begin is third year in fall 2023 covering new territory including recent rises and falls in the fortunes of Bitcoin 

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