Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor Christian Catalini is on leave and working on the development of Facebook coin, cryptocurrency news Coindesk reported on May 3.
Per the report, two anonymous sources with knowledge of the situation told Coindesk about Catalini’s collaboration with Facebook. Catalini — the Theodore T. Miller Career Development Professor at MIT — is reportedly one of the more prominent researchers in the field of tokeneconomics. He recently co-authored a report with University of Toronto professor Joshua Gans on initial coin offerings and the value of tokens.
Earlier this week, news broke that social media giant Facebook is reportedly seeking investments worth $1 billion for its bespoke cryptocurrency. Reports first surfaced in May of last year that Facebook was “exploring” the creation of its own token.
At the end of 2018, Bloomberg reported that the company was creating a crypto for users of its WhatsApp messaging service. Then, in February, a New York Times report stated that Facebook is “hoping to succeed where Bitcoin failed” with its highly secretive cryptocurrency project.
As previously reported Catalini was one of the people leading the MIT Bitcoin Project, which raised $500K to distribute $100 worth of Bitcoin to all undergraduate students at MIT in 2014.