University of Maryland Gives Grants for Cryptocurrency Research

With cryptocurrency developments gaining stronger interest these days, several universities have decided to pursue studies in the field and even offer grants for research purposes. The University of Maryland recently opened a cryptocurrency research grant with nearly $2 million in funding.

At present, the University of Maryland is already offering a course on cryptography, taught by Professor Jonathan Katz. Katz earned his Master of Philosophy in Computer Science at Columbia in 2001, and worked as a Research Fellow at UCLA’s Institute for Pure and Applied Mathematics in 2006.

Cryptocurrency Research Project

This cryptocurrency research grant project aims to establish a rigorous scientific foundation for digital currencies while conducting analysis through cryptography, game theory, programming languages, and systems security techniques.

Students and groups that participate in the project are expected to come up with innovations like new cryptocurrency designs with provable security properties, financially enforceable cryptographic protocols whose security properties are backed by enforceable payments in case of a breach, smart contract systems that are easy to program and formally verifiable, or high-assurance systems for storing and handling high-value cryptocurrencies and transactions.

Apart from that, the cryptocurrency research project is also expected to provide a platform for technologists, economists, and social scientists. According to its organizers, they will also set up a speaker series that will bring these people and policymakers to foster collaborations that will shape the future of digital currencies. There have been several ideas on how digital currencies and their underlying technology could disrupt several industries so the main goal of the project is to use these ideas to come up with concrete applications.

The project’s base of operations will be at the University of Maryland College Park, with Nina Amla as the project officer. She can be contacted at (703) 292-8910, or emailed at namla@nsf.gov. Candidates and institutes can apply starting July 1, 2015 until June 30, 2018.

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