University Of Maryland Receives Cryptocurrency Research Grants


Editor’s Note: We would like to apologize for the factual inaccuracy of this article. The University of Maryland is not giving research grants; rather, they have received a grant from the National Science Foundation to researchers from the university so they can study cryptocurrency. This article will be updated and corrected as soon as the reporter reviews the information and corrects his mistakes. 

Educational and research institutes and universities have started showing their interest in the study and research of cryptocurrencies around the world. After the University of Nicosia started a program in digital currency, several other institutes started courses as well. Now, University of Maryland has been awarded around $ 1,935,783 to conduct a cryptocurrency research project.

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The project’s base of operations is the University of Maryland College Park and Nina Amla is the project officer; Amla can be contacted at (703) 292-8910, or emailed at [email protected] Candidates and institutes can apply between 07/01/2015 to 06/30/2018 that is quite a lot of time. The project, titled, “The Science and Applications of Crypto-Currency,” will feature David Van Horn, Jonathan Katz, Michael Hicks as Co-PD(s)/co-PI(s).

Professor Jonathan Katz is not new to cryptocurrencies, as earlier the last year, when the University of Maryland at College Park partnered with Coursera to offer a legitimate, free class in cryptography, he was the person who taught the students. 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., a website that offers information on grant management for the NSF community, notes that this grant project aims to establish a rigorous scientific foundation for crypto-currencies. To achieve this goal, the project blends cryptography, game theory, programming languages, and systems security techniques. The students and groups that win the grant are expected to come up outcomes like:

  • New crypto-currency 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.
  • High-assurance systems for storing and handling high-value crypto-currencies and transactions.

Collaborate and Engage with Technologists, Economists, Social Scientists

Apart from providing solutions to some of the most difficult and important technical questions surrounding the current digital-money revolution, the project is also expected to provide a platform for technologists, economists, and social scientists. The project’s organizers will set up a crypto-currency speaker series that will bring these people and policy-makers to foster collaborations that will shape the future of digital currencies.

The major objective of the project is to bring concrete solutions to secure cryptocurrency designs, as most existing solutions rely on heuristic designs without a solid appreciation of the necessary security properties, or any formal basis upon which strong assurance of such properties might be achieved.

What do you think of University of Maryland’s new cryptocurrency grant project? Let us know in the comments below!

Image: University of Maryland

Deepak Tiwari

Deepak Tiwari, though a lawyer, working as a journalist for six+ years now. An avid Bitcoin supporter, he currently writes on Bitcoin and other crypto-currencies for, a portal that offers exclusive news and reviews for readers, traders and brokers. His other specialties/interests include writing on law governance, finance, internet marketing, careers, politics, international relations diplomacy, etc.
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  • I think you are confused: UMD was *awarded* a grant to study crypto-currencies; we are not giving out grants.

  • Interesting. So are you the same Jonathan Katz mentioned in the news? Can you clarify ‘who’ awarded the grant to UMD? ‘Who’ can enroll for the project? What is the role of UMD?

  • The National Science Foundation awarded the grant. No one can ‘enroll’; the grant will support faculty and graduate students doing research on the topic.

  • I second Jonathan Katz. The author has completely misunderstood the award news and the entire US science funding process. The National Science Foundation awarded a grant to researchers from the University of Maryland to study crypto-currencies through its Secure and Trustworthy Cybersecurity program []. The program awards grants to researchers across the country to investigate issues related to cybersecurity and privacy. I would be happy to speak with the reporter to fix the story should care to. I can be reached at: [email protected].