Yesterday, David Marcus announced he has founded Lightspark, which will develop solutions using the Bitcoin Lightning network. Marcus left Meta at the end of 2021 after leading the Novi division and wallet, which was originally intended to support the now abandoned Diem stablecoin.
He is joined by several key executives from Diem and Novi, including Christian Catalini as Chief Strategy Officer.
Lightspark has received an undisclosed amount in a Series A funding round led by a16z and Paradigm. Other participants include Thrive Capital, Coatue, Felix Capital, Ribbit Capital, Matrix Partners, Zeev Ventures and others.
Meanwhile, Lightning is a Layer 2 solution for Bitcoin, which unlike Bitcoin itself, enables instantaneous transactions at very low cost and is highly scalable.
All the involved parties were tightlipped about what specifically the startup would be working on. Although Dana Stalder of Matrix said it would be “reinventing the largest and most antiquated parts of financial services by building on the Lightning Network.” Paradigm’s Fred Ehrsam stated “Crypto is the clear settlement layer of the future.”
Marcus has a long track record in payments. He founded Zong a mobile payments startup acquired by PayPal, where he stayed for seven years, becoming the company’s president.
Bitcoin gets considerable attention because of its energy-hungry proof of work security mechanism. Cambridge University research indicates that the majority of Bitcoin mining uses renewables. However, others point to the research being funded by the Bitcoin sector and question whether renewable usage is displacing other uses for green energy.
Proponents of Bitcoin consider it more decentralized compared to other blockchain networks. One of its most vocal supporters is Jack Dorsey, CEO of Block and former Twitter CEO. Block, formerly Square, is working on using the Bitcoin network to enable people to pay for goods at the point of sale using digital assets without an intermediary.