Headshot of Christian Catalini
Headshot of Christian Catalini


Christian Catalini

Head Economist

I am the Chief Economist of the Diem Association, a co-creator of Diem, and Head Economist of Novi (seconded to the Diem Association). I am currently on leave from my role as Associate Professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where I founded the MIT Cryptoeconomics Lab and designed the MIT Digital Currency Research Study. I am also a Faculty Research Fellow in the Productivity, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship Program at the National Bureau of Economic Research. My research focuses on blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies, and I previously worked on the economics of equity crowdfunding and startup growth, and the economics of scientific collaboration. I hold a PhD from the University of Toronto (Rotman School of Management), and MSc (summa cum laude) in Economics and Management of New Technologies from Bocconi University, Milan.


  • Kauffman Junior Faculty Fellowship in Entrepreneurship Research (KJFF), 2017
  • NEC Corporation Fund for Research in Computers and Communications, MIT Research Support Committee, 2016
  • NET Institute Summer Grant, “Seeding the S-Curve? The Role of Early Adopters in Diffusion”, with Catherine Tucker
  • Junior Faculty Research Assistance Program, MIT Sloan, “Using Digital Trails to Predict Startup Growth”, 2016
  • TIM Past Division Chairs’ Emerging Scholar Award, Finalist, 2016
  • Junior Faculty Research Assistance Program, MIT Sloan, “Equity Crowdfunding Syndicates”, 2015
  • 3M Nontenured Business School Faculty Award, 2013 to 2016
  • Wiley Blackwell Outstanding Dissertation Award in Business Policy and Strategy for “Three Essays on the Impact of Geographic and Social Proximity on Innovation”, assigned by the Business Policy and Strategy division of the Academy of Management (AOM), 2014
  • Finalist for the TIM Division’s Best Dissertation Award, Academy of Management (AOM), 2014
  • NESTA and Kauffman Foundation Grant for Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Growth Experiments (with Ina Ganguli), 2014
  • Edward B. Roberts (1957) Fund Grant for Technology-Based Entrepreneurship (with Hong Luo), 2014
  • Best Student Paper Award, Roundtable on Engineering Entrepreneurship Re- search (REER) 2012, Scheller College of Business, Georgia Tech, Atlanta, GA
  • Best Junior Scholar Paper Prize, “The Organization, Economics and Policy of Scientific Research”, LEI & BRICK, 2012
  • Best Paper Proceedings of the Academy of Management Meeting (AOM), 2012
  • Finalist for the TIM Division’s Best Student Paper Award, Academy of Management Meeting (AOM), 2012
  • NET Institute Summer Grant, “The Geography of Crowdfunding” with Ajay Agrawal and Avi Goldfarb
  • GSEF – Joseph L. Rotman School of Management Award, 2008 to 2013
  • Doctoral Fellowship, Joseph L. Rotman School of Management, 2008 to 2013
  • 3M Canada Incorporated Scholarship, 3M Canada Inc., 2007


Blockchain, cryptocurrencies, cryptoeconomics, economics of innovation