MIT Economist Christian Catalini Allegedly Working on Facebook’s Crypto Project


An expert from MIT, Christian Catalini, is said to be on leave from the institution and currently works for Facebook on its crypto project.

According to two people familiar with the matter, and who spoke to Coindesk, the top crypto economist is at the social media company to help it develop a cryptocurrency.

Facebook has reportedly been working on its own stablecoin, something that has gathered momentum in recent months. Speculation heightened earlier this year when the social media giant hired several crypto and blockchain experts.

Further expectations followed reports that the California-based company was targeting the lucrative Indian remittances market as the first users of the coin.

According to reports, Facebook wants to give its users- numbering into billions- a platform upon which they can easily send and receive funds from each other. The company also hopes the coin will allow for online purchases, a factor that could make it get quickly adopted owing to the massive exposure it’s likely to have.

Having Catalini, who has yet to confirm the reports, on its team is undoubtedly a huge boost for Facebook. The prominent economist and crypto researcher, has taken a front seat among those dedicated to the token economics, a topic he has extensively written about.

Catalini worked with Joshua Gans, a professor at the University of Toronto, in releasing a powerful report on cryptocurrency. The report, which the two co-authored and published in 2018, assessed among other aspects, the value of cryptocurrency tokens.

More recently, Catalini collaborated with Stanford University’s Susan Athey and Catherine Tucker from MIT to write a paper on privacy protection. The trio’s paper tries to dissect the user disconnect, between what consumers want in terms of privacy protection and that effortless, almost voluntary readiness to just compromise.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg reiterated on the issue of user protection in an address he delivered last week during the platform’s developer conference dubbed F8. In his speech, Zuckerberg noted that would be all about privacy.

Back to Catalini, the distinguished MIT scholar studied for his Ph.D. in Strategic Management at the University of Toronto from where he graduated in 2013.

There has been no word from Facebook regarding his alleged work at the company.

Disclaimer: This is not investment advice. Cryptocurrencies are highly volatile assets and are very risky investments. Do your research and consult an investment professional before investing. Never invest more than you can afford to lose. Never borrow money to invest in cryptocurrencies.

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