Christian Catalini is on leave from MIT and working at Facebook, two people with knowledge of the situation told CoinDesk.
The prominent crypto economist is helping the social media giant with its cryptocurrency efforts, the sources said. Facebook is reportedly developing a stablecoin that will let its billions of users send money to each other, and possibly make online purchases.
Catalini declined to comment to CoinDesk.
Catalini has been one of the more prominent researchers working on the topic of token economics. Along with University of Toronto professor Joshua Gans, he co-authored an influential 2018 report on the value of crypto tokens.
One of Catalini's most recent papers, written with Stanford's Susan Athey and MIT's Catherine Tucker, is about the disconnect between consumers' stated interest in privacy protection and their apparent willingness to give it up.
"I believe the future is private," Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said this week at the company's F8 developer conference.
In 2013, Catalini received his Ph.D. in Strategic Management from the University of Toronto.
A Facebook spokesperson told CoinDesk the company does not comment on personnel matters.
Christian Catalini image via YouTube/MIT
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