Blockchain project Chainlink Labs has hired the co-creator of Meta’s Diem, Christian Catalini, as well as Stanford cryptographer Dan Boneh as technical advisers, the firm announced Thursday.
Chainlink develops “oracle” networks that connect real-world data with smart contracts built on blockchains. European telecommunications company Deutsche Telekom is one of the main data providers to Chainlink.
Catalini and Boneh will primarily work on the Cross-Chain Interoperability Protocol (CCIP), a new international standard for decentralized inter-blockchain messaging, data, and token movements. With CCIP, users will be able to move tokens and execute smart contracts across different blockchains via the Chainlink Network.
“To ensure that CCIP launches as the most secure cross-chain protocol in the world, we’re bringing on some of the greatest minds in crypto-economics and cryptography to work with us,” said Chainlink co-founder Sergey Nazarov.
Prior to joining Chainlink, Catalini was one of the co-creators and the chief economist of the Diem Association, owned by Meta Platforms (formerly Facebook), which was looking to create a stablecoin. On Wednesday, the Wall Street Journal reported that the Diem Association is selling its technology to Silvergate Capital for $200 million, citing an unnamed person.
Catalini and Boneh will also be working with the Chainlink Labs research team on the economics section of the Chainlink 2.0 white paper.
Chainlink is aggressively hiring and expanding its advisory team. In December, Chainlink hired former Google CEO Eric Schmidt, who helped launch services Gmail, Google Maps and Chrome and acquired YouTube and Android during his time running the search giant. Schmidt joined Chainlink as a strategic adviser.
There has recently been a wave of Web 2 talent rushing into the Web 3 space as blockchain, gaming and non-fungible token (NFT) companies continue to form and expand. This past week, YouTube’s head of gaming, Ryan Wyatt, announced he will be joining Polygon as the CEO of Polygon Studios, while YouTube’s senior director of creator partnerships Jamie Byrne said he would be joining NFT platform Bright Moments in a leadership role.
UPDATE (Jan. 27, 15:04 UTC): Updated information about reported sale of Diem Association in fifth paragraph.