Army Research Office Funds MIT Bitcoin Price Research

In a recent press release, the MIT News Office announced the publication of a paper by researchers attempting to predict Bitcoin price by Bayesian regression. The paper's subject matter and methods are of specialist interest, but a matter of more general interest appears in the paper's acknowledgements:

This work was supported in part by NSF grants CMMI-1335155 and CNS-1161964, and by Army Research Office MURI Award W911NF-11-1-0036.

That's an interesting sponsor to see on a paper on market behavior, but the Department of Defense innocently sponsors research all of the time right?

Over the past 25 years, DoD’s MURI program has produced significant capabilities for U.S. military forces and opened up entirely new lines of research.  Examples include advances in laser frequency combs that have become the gold standard in frequency control for precision in navigation and targeting;  atomic and molecular self-assembly projects that have opened new possibilities for nano-manufacturing; and the field of spintronics that emerged from a MURI award on magnetic materials and devices. DoD’s strategy to quickly leverage the basic research advances in MURI awards for new capabilities has focused on early engagement with industry.

It is hard to keep one's hand secret while advertising your cards to the whole room. The paper "Bayesian regression and Bitcoin" is available as a PDF.


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