Discreet since leaving Meta at the end of 2021, David Marcus is launching Lightspark, a start-up in the world of cryptocurrencies. This one wants to rely on the Lightning Network, a device to solve the problems of scalability of bitcoin.
David Marcus returns to the front of the stage. Discreet since his departure from Meta (Facebook) at the end of 2021 when he was in charge of piloting the North American giant’s cryptocurrency project, associated with a digital wallet, the former boss of PayPal had indicated that he wanted to return to the bath of the entrepreneurship. This is now done with the launch of Lightspark, a start-up in the world of cryptocurrencies.
The name of the company gives an indication of its scope, referring to the Lightning Network, a device aimed at solving bitcoin’s scalability problems. As an overlay to the bitcoin protocol, it is based on two-way payment channels that allow repeated payments to be made between two people without transaction costs.
With this approach, the Lightning Network makes it possible to process bitcoin transactions at an unlimited flow to make instant and inexpensive payments. In a tweet, David Marcus indicated that he wanted to rely on this network “to explore, build and extend the capabilities and utility of bitcoin”.
I wanted to share that we are starting a new company called @lightspark to explore, build and extend the capabilities and utility of #Bitcoin. As a first step, we’re actively assembling a team to dive deeper into the Lightning Network. (1/3)
—David Marcus (@davidmarcus) May 12, 2022
The project seems to have started off on a good footing since it already benefits from the support of heavyweights in US venture capital, such as Andreessen Horowitz, Ribbit Capital, Coatue and Paradigm. According to TechCrunchformer employees of Meta’s crypto arm have joined the company to take on leadership roles.
The latter are no doubt hoping for a different outcome from that of Diem, the cryptocurrency project of Facebook’s parent company, officially abandoned at the start of the year after two years under strong pressure. Indeed, international regulators and central banks took a very dim view of this new breakthrough by a technological giant in the monetary field, and immediately stepped up to nip the project in the bud. Even if that doesn’t stop Meta from considering creating a new virtual currency and other financial services with a less controversial approach…
Launching in dark times for cryptos
Understanding that there was no longer any chance with Meta of setting up an alternative payment system on a global scale, David Marcus therefore attempted an incursion with his start-up. Within a more modest structure, perhaps he hopes to free himself from the constraints of a digital juggernaut, whose ambitions could quickly be curbed by regulators.
However, the French entrepreneur, who also has American and Swiss nationalities, announces the launch of Lightspark in a chaotic period for cryptocurrencies, which have suffered a spectacular collapse in recent days. Not enough, however, to scare the former faithful lieutenant of Mark Zuckerberg. “Downturns are good times to focus on building and creating value with mission-aligned people”he wrote on Twitter.