It seems that there is still a significant amount of automated financial trading taking place, despite uncertainty about the instabilities which this may exacerbate in the world’s stockmarkets.
New work at MIT indicates that one can optimise trading performance by locating your machine halfway between market servers to exploit tiny fluctuations in prices.
Today’s invention takes this ridiculous practice to even greater extremes.
In order to exchange data with trading floors faster, it involves placing your automatic trading machine at the bottom of a vertical shaft, dug at one of the hotspots indicated in the research.
This machine would not rely on optical fibres but would lessen the pathlength by transmitting data in a straight line through the earth (using eg the mageto-inductive “Rockphone” technology, which can, it’s claimed, penetrate mountains.
The shorter path length would give you a nanosecond’s edge on the opposition, millions of times a second.