David Marcus, former President of PayPal and current CEO of Lightspark, a Lightning Network infrastructure company, is on a mission to transform Bitcoin (BTC) into a global payment network. In an interview on CNBC’s Squawk Box, Marcus highlighted the challenges of sending money across borders and emphasized the need for a universal protocol for money on the internet.
Bitcoin as a Global Payment Network:
Marcus’s vision for Lightspark is to turn Bitcoin into a robust global payment network. While modern communication is effortless through texting and email, sending money across borders remains cumbersome due to the absence of a standardized global protocol for digital money.
“What we are trying to do is turn Bitcoin into a real global payment network.”
Lightspark’s goal is to convert the Lightning Network into a “universal protocol for money on the internet,” similar to how texting serves as a universal protocol for communication. Importantly, the currencies transferred over this network would still be fiat currencies.
“We are still at the fax era of global payments, and that is what we are attempting to solve.”
Marcus explained that a fragment of a Bitcoin on top of the Lightning Network functions like a small data packet on the internet, but exclusively for transmitting value. Users can send and receive any currency they prefer, whether it’s Dollars, Yen, or Euros.
Bitcoin’s Role as a Payment Method
Marcus doesn’t see Bitcoin becoming a popular payment method itself. Instead, he believes that a fraction of Bitcoin on top of the Lightning Network, with its real-time, cash-final, and low-cost attributes, will be the game-changer for cross-border transactions.
“Our view is actually that Bitcoin is not the currency that people will use to buy things. But a fragment of a Bitcoin on top of Lightning is like a small data packet on the internet only for value.”
Acknowledging the unique challenges, Marcus mentioned that building on Lightning and Bitcoin is approximately five times more complex than developing on other protocols. Despite the difficulties, Lightspark is determined to build on the Lightning Network and is willing to do whatever it takes to unleash its full potential.
“Because it’s time for the world to have a universal open protocol for payments.”
David Marcus and Lightspark are set on reshaping the landscape of global payments, harnessing the power of Bitcoin and Lightning to streamline and simplify cross-border transactions in the digital age.