In an interview with CNBC on Sept. 11, David Marcus, the ex-PayPal executive and co-founder of the Bitcoin Lightning-focused payment service Lightspark, said he believes Bitcoin’s Lightning Network could simplify sending money across jurisdictions.
The lightning network aims to make Bitcoin transactions cheaper, faster, and more practical for small payments. It processes Bitcoin transactions independently before settling them on the main Bitcoin blockchain.
"We're trying to turn #Bitcoin into a global payment network. There's no universal protocol for money on the internet that enables value to be transported," says @lightspark CEO @davidmarcus. "Our view is $BTC is not the currency people will use to buy things." pic.twitter.com/3fEBTzHxJS
— Squawk Box (@SquawkCNBC) September 11, 2023
Throughout the conversation, he stressed that most popular payment services only partially handle international or cross-application transactions. In contrast, he suggested that many other online services, such as email, video conferencing, and texting, could be accessed almost universally by their users.
“What we’re trying to do is turn Bitcoin into a real global payment network … we’re still in the fax era of global payments and that’s what we’re attempting to solve.”
He described international transactions as a significant business opportunity, with “trillions of dollars of transactions” occurring across existing networks.
Bitcoin Lightning Network As “Universal Protocol For Money”
Marcus pointed out that sending money to a non-U.S. resident from the U.S. can be inconvenient. The process involves visiting a nearby bank and paying a $50 fee for an international transfer. However, the situation differs with the Bitcoin Lightning Network. It operates 24/7, whereas banks halt all operations after 5 p.m. Friday, he said.
Marcus co-founded Lightspark in May 2022 and is the company’s CEO. He mentioned that his company is trying to address payment issues using the Bitcoin Lightning network. The company’s goal is to establish lightning as a”universal protocol for money on the internet,” just as messaging is a universal framework for communication.
Users can transfer any currency of their choice, including Euro, Yen, or Dollar, and receive any currency they want at the other end of the world. Moreover, he characterized Lightning as the “low-cost,” “real-time,” and “cash final” settlement layer in between.
However, the former head of PayPal believes that, in the end, BTC Lightning will be used primarily for international transfers instead of everyday purchases.
“Our view is actually that Bitcoin is not the currency that people will use to buy things.”
The executive’s opinions align with Jack Mallers, the CEO of Strike, a firm that also uses lightning for cost-effective transactions. The Wallet app now supports lightning-based international remittances to 65 regions, including Ghana, Nigeria, and Argentina, where users can receive funds in their local currency through a bank account.