Former Meta David Marcus, Creator of Libra/Diem, Launches Startup Focused on BTC and Lightning Network3 min read
Former Meta (formerly Facebook) executive David Marcus rose to prominence in the crypto market after leading social media company Diem’s (formerly Libra) cryptocurrency project.
Now, months after the project definitely came to an end, David Marcus has announced that he is founding a new cryptocurrency company.
The executive wrote about the news on his account on twitter. He revealed that he and a team are founding Lighthstpark, a new startup that will leverage BTC and the Lightning Network.
The Lightning Network is one of the oldest and most prominent ideas in the quest to solve the scalability barrier that exists in BTC. In other words, the network enables instant payments with cryptocurrency.
Along with the announcement, the former Meta executive commented on the current economic situation:
“Recessions are good times to focus on building and creating value with people aligned with the mission. We’re excited to dive into Lightning, learn more, and work together with the community. We will share more about our work as we progress!”
Launch of BTC-focused Lightspark
According to TechCrunch, Marcus will serve as the company’s CEO. And, in addition to Marcus, the new company also includes other former Meta employees in executive positions.
While he revealed few details about Lightspark’s plans, the executive said the company will “explore, build and expand BTC’s capabilities and utility.”
In addition, it reported that the startup will create a team to “dive deeper into the Lightning Network.” Based on this, it is possible that Lighthstpark is involved with payment services with digital assets.
Marcus also revealed that the startup has already started its first round of funding. The leaders of the round will be: a16z Crypto and Paradigm. In addition to them, Thrive Capital, Coatue, Felix Capital, Ribbit Capital, Matrix Partners and Zeev Ventures will also participate.
Lightspark did not, however, indicate how much it plans to raise in funding.
David Marcus’ trajectory
As mentioned, Marcus was one of the co-creators of the Diem project, having also been responsible for the Calibra digital wallet (which became Novi). Prior to that, he served as president of PayPal.
Marcus joined Facebook in 2014 as the head of Messenger. He helped introduce payment services to the platform.
In 2018, he became the head of Facebook’s blockchain operations, when he started Libra and the Calibra wallet.
Finally, in 2020, Marcus became head of Facebook Financial. The executive’s last accomplishment was the launch of the Novi wallet in October.
At the end of last year, the executive announced that he would leave Meta, after spending seven years at the company.
Then several Diem leaders also left Meta for a16z Crypto which, perhaps not coincidentally, is funding Marcus’ new project.
Shortly after Marcus left, the company discontinued the Diem initiative. Now the project is trying to be reborn with another team and a new name: Aptos.
Diem was sold to Silvergate Bank in a $200 million deal shortly before that.
Meanwhile, Facebook’s parent company is now focusing on integrating NFTs into Instagram and the metaverse.