Tomorrow's stocks could be traded via neutrino beamS

Neutrinos may not travel faster than light, but that doesn't mean they can't be put to good use. By sending encoded pulses of neutrinos on a 10,000 km shortcut directly through the Earth, financial firms and high-frequency trading companies think they can get a 44-millisecond communication advantage over their competitors.

That might not sound like much of an edge, but in a world where hundreds of millions of dollars change virtual hands in just fractions of a second, even milliseconds become significant.

"Thirty milliseconds is a lot of time in high-velocity trading," explains former J.P. Morgan Chase options trader Espen Gaarder Haug in an interview with Forbes Magazine.

Tomorrow's stocks could be traded via neutrino beamS

According to Haug, cities with the greatest distance between them would stand to gain the biggest time boost. Communication between New York and Tokyo would see a 23.7 millisecond time advantage; communications between London and Sydney would see almost double that.

Of course, financial institutions still need the infrastructure to make this all happen, which would basically require a particle accelerator beneath any firm that wanted in on the latest, greatest trading trend. And while that's not likely to happen anytime soon, something tells us that as soon as one of these firms takes the plunge on neutrino-communication, the rest of them are liable to follow suit. [Forbes]

Top image via Shutterstock; communication time chart via Forbes