Cambridge and Oxford teams compete in algorithmic crypto trading contest

More than one dozen teams representing the mathematics and computer science departments of Oxford and Cambridge universities are competing to build crypto trading algorithms on major exchanges Coinbase Pro and FTX.

According to a Nov. 25 announcement, the 15 teams will be assessed on their trading strategies, the technical design of their algorithms, and their overall return-on-investment. The competition launched on Nov. 16 and will run until Dec. 16.

The strategies employed include arbitrage, predictions based on machine learning and neural networks, and trend investing based on time-sequence forecasting.

APEX:E3 is the contest’s principal sponsor, with the institutional analytics firm providing access to its APIs, mentorship, technical support, and an undisclosed sum of seed funding to each competitor. Only the winning team will keep their seed capital and profits.

Crypto exchanges Coinbase, FTX, SIX Digital Exchange, and LMAX Digital, along with Ethereum software developer ConsenSys have also partnered to support the competition.

Dr. Quentin Stafford-Fraser of University of Cabridge’s computer science department described the tournament as a risk-free opportunity for students to put their algorithms to the text in real life markets:

“APEX:E3 has created a fun and risk-free way for students to learn about the [algorithmic trading] industry and bring their creativity and expertise to bear on the particular challenges of this domain

APEX:E3 chief executive, Usman Khan, indicated the firm plans to make the tournament an annual event, adding he hopes to expand the number of participating universities in 2021.