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Ex-Meta fintech chief David Marcus unveils Bitcoin startup

Ex-Meta fintech chief David Marcus unveils Bitcoin startup

David Marcus, the man who led Meta's frustrated Novi and Diem projects, has re-emerged with a Bitcoin startup focused on the Lighting Network.

In a LinkedIn post, Marcus says that Lightspark will "explore, build and extend the capabilities and utility of Bitcoin".

The startup is putting together a team that will "dive deeper" into the Lightning Network, a "layer 2" payment protocol layered on top of Bitcoin for cheaper and faster transactions.

With crypto prices tanking, Marcus insists: "Downturns are good moments to focus on building and creating value with mission-aligned people."

Lightspark has already raised an undisclosed amount of funding from 16z crypto, Paradigm, Thrive Capital, Coatue, Felix Capital, Ribbit Capital, Matrix Partners, Zeev Ventures and others.

Marcus has also brought in several former Meta staffers, as well as the co-creator of Diem, Christian Catalini, as co-founder and chief strategy officer.

Marcus joined Facebook in 2014 after a spell as PayPal boss and spent the last three years as head of the Novi digital wallet, which was supposed to be linked to the stablecoin Diem.

The Meta-led Diem project failed to get off the ground, facing a series of setbacks and stiff opposition from financial regulators since it was first unveiled over two years ago under the Libra name.

Marcus made no secret of his frustration at the difficulty in getting Novi and Diem up and running and quit Meta in November.

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