David Marcus, former head of PayPal and co-creator of Facebook’s cryptocurrency project Diem, has announced a new open payment protocol. Lightspark, a well-funded Bitcoin tech infrastructure company founded in 2022, has unveiled a platform for Bitcoin’s Lightning Network aimed at onboarding businesses to the network. In a tweet, Marcus claimed that Lightspark’s new platform is “the first enterprise-grade entry point to the Lightning Network.”
The Lightning Network speeds up Bitcoin transactions and is often cited as the missing piece from Bitcoin that will push the digital currency mainstream. However, so far, Lightning products have been hard for people outside of Bitcoin to understand. Lightspark’s goal is to make it easier for enterprises to absorb. Marcus believes that the complexity and steep learning curve inherent in Lightning are now gone, and that it is intuitive and easy to reliably send and receive payments on the network or to build payment experiences without any of the constraints of antiquated rails.
Today we’re launching the Lightspark Platform. The first enterprise-grade entry point to the Lightning Network. We believe Lightning will be the winning open payment protocol on the Internet. Head to https://t.co/xMo8BjNRqu to get started. pic.twitter.com/Zv8xeqp3Il
— Lightspark (@lightspark) April 11, 2023
Lightspark joins a growing number of Bitcoin companies and open-source developers focused on bringing the advantages of Lightning to a wider audience. Since Lightning is an open protocol that makes global payments faster, cheaper, and gives users more control than traditional digital payment systems, this effort is likely to increase adoption of Bitcoin. In recent months, other companies have announced similar initiatives. For instance, Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey announced the roadmap for Spiral, which is developing a payment processing layer for the Lightning Network. Bitcoin-focused startup ZEBEDEE also launched an open-source initiative for the network in October.
According to Marcus, “We believe the Internet badly needs an open payment protocol—one that works 24/7, settles in near real-time, is dirt cheap, interoperable, and open to all to build on. Money should move online like emails or text messages, and the Lightning Network has the best chance of becoming the standard protocol that enables that and much more for everyone around the world.” Lightspark’s Lightning platform is expected to attract more businesses to the network, providing a smoother user experience and increasing adoption of Bitcoin.