According to David Marcus, the former president of PayPal, while information can be easily transferred over the internet today, global payments are still stuck in the “fax era.” In an interview with CNBC, Marcus, who is also the co-founder of Bitcoin Lightning-focused payment service Lightspark, expressed his belief that Bitcoin’s Lightning network can address the cumbersome process of sending money across jurisdictions.
Marcus highlighted the ease of communication through email or text, but noted that there is no universal protocol for transferring money over the internet. He explained that if someone wants to send money to a non-U.S. citizen who is not using the same fintech apps, it would involve obtaining bank account details and physically going to a local bank to complete an international wire transfer, which often incurs a $50 fee. Marcus added that if it’s after Friday at 5 pm, the transfer becomes even more challenging.
Lightspark, which Marcus co-founded in May 2022 and now leads as CEO, is working to solve these issues using the Bitcoin Lightning network. However, Marcus believes that Bitcoin Lightning will mainly be used for overseas transfers rather than everyday purchases. He explained that Bitcoin will facilitate the transfer of U.S. dollars, which will eventually be received in different currencies, such as Japanese Yen or Euro, by the recipient on the other side of the world. Marcus emphasized that Bitcoin’s settlement layer combined with Lightning’s real-time payments enables cash finality at a very low cost.