Want to learn the best business insights from remarkable speakers at Slush 2023, but don’t have the time to watch the full speeches on YouTube?
You’ve come to the right place. Below is a summary of a speech by David Marcus, ex-president of Paypal, co-creator of Meta’s Diem, and co-founder and CEO of Lightspar and Julien Codorniou, partner of Felix Capital and former vice president of Facebook.
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<p class="h1-rich">🤏 TL;DR</p>
David Marcus' career journey includes founding a telco and ISP in Switzerland, starting a mobile payments company called Zong, serving as CEO of PayPal, building messaging products at Facebook, and pitching the idea for Libra. He left Facebook in 2021 to start Lightspark, a company focused on building an open interoperable protocol for money using Bitcoin and Lightning Network. Lightspark aims to create a money grid that enables cheap, 24/7, and interoperable money transfers using Bitcoin and Lightning Network, and they plan to expand the number of countries live with the UMAH address to 48 by the end of December and 100+ by the end of Q1.
<p class="h1-rich">✨ Summary</p>
David Marcus' Career Journey
- David Marcus started his career in Europe, founding a telco and ISP in Switzerland.
- He later started a mobile payments company called Zong, which was acquired by PayPal.
- After serving as CEO of PayPal, Marcus joined Facebook to build messaging products, including the Messenger app.
- He then pitched the idea for Libra (DM), an open protocol for money on the internet, which he built at Facebook.
- Marcus left Facebook in 2021 to start Lightspark, a company focused on building an open interoperable protocol for money using Bitcoin and Lightning Network.
Scaling Startups vs. Corporate Roles
- Marcus found startups to be more enjoyable and suited to his nimble approach to building fast and pivoting.
- He appreciated the opportunity to work with immensely talented people on hard problems at a large scale during his time at Facebook.
- However, he ultimately missed the excitement and resilience required in the startup world.
The Ambition and Learnings of Libra/DM
- The ambition behind Libra/DM was to create a new protocol for money on the internet that would fix the outdated infrastructure for payments.
- They built the Libra protocol and currency, but faced strong opposition from governments and regulators due to concerns about a private company issuing a unit of account for retail payments.
- Marcus left Facebook in 2021 and started Lightspark to build an open standard for money movement using Bitcoin and the Lightning Network.
Lightspark's Vision and Value Proposition
- Lightspark aims to create a money grid that enables cheap, 24/7, and interoperable money transfers using Bitcoin and Lightning Network.
- Their recent product, Ooma, offers universal money addresses for easy and cost-effective cross-border transfers.
- Lightspark's focus is on supporting developers and startups in building applications that require real-time value transfer.
Regulation and Lightspark's Position
- Lightspark operates within the existing regulatory framework by working with regulated entities as clients.
- They leverage Bitcoin's regulatory clarity and plan to launch a Bitcoin spot TTF.
- Regulation is seen as an opportunity rather than a hindrance for Lightspark.
Advice for Entrepreneurs
- Marcus emphasizes the importance of resilience and persistence in achieving entrepreneurial goals.
- He encourages entrepreneurs to find their passion and fight for it, even in the face of challenges and failures.
- He believes that the future holds inspiring opportunities for those who can harness the potential of money moving natively on the internet.