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Facebook taps MIT’s Christian Catalini for crypto project: Report

Mon, 06 May 2019, 10:57 am UTC

MIT professor Christian Catalini is working on Facebook’s cryptocurrency project, two anonymous sources familiar with the matter told CoinDesk.

Earlier this year, reports started floating in the media that Facebook was working on its own “Facebook Coin” and was in discussions with several cryptocurrency exchanges for selling the coin to customers. Similar to stablecoins, the new coin will be reportedly pegged to a basket of different foreign currencies and make it easy for users to send money to each other and make online payments.

While Facebook remains tight lipped on the matter, reports have also suggested that the social media giant was seeking $1 billion in venture capital for the project.

Sources have now told CoinDesk that Catalini is working at Facebook and helping the company in this venture.

According to the details on Catalini.com, Catalini is the Theodore T. Miller Career Development Professor at MIT, and Associate Professor of Technological Innovation, Entrepreneurship, and Strategic Management, MIT Sloan School of Management. His research focuses on blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies, the economics of equity crowdfunding and startup growth, and the economics of scientific collaboration.

Catalini is one of the principal investigators of the MIT Digital Currencies Research Study, a part of the MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy, and a faculty advisor at the Digital Currency Initiative.

Last week, The Wall Street Journal reported that Facebook was recruiting several financial firms and online merchants as part of its efforts to launch a cryptocurrency-based payments system.

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