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Ex-Diem Head David Marcus Launches Crypto Startup

The former Facebook finance head has announced his new company, Lightspark.

Ex-Diem Head David Marcus Launches Crypto Startup
Flickr photo by Adam Tinworth

Key Takeaways

  • Former Facebook Finance head David has announced a new cryptocurrency company called Lightspark.
  • The company will reportedly focus on Bitcoin and Lightning. It will gain funding from a16z crypto and other sources.
  • Marcus left Facebook, Meta, Diem, and associated projects last November. Those projects all continue in various forms.

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David Marcus, who formerly headed Facebook and Meta’s Diem stablecoin project, is founding a new crypto company.

David Marcus Unveils Lightspark

Marcus wrote on Twitter today that he and a team are founding Lighstpark, a new startup that will leverage Bitcoin and the Lightning Network. In addition to Marcus himself, the new company also includes other former Meta employees in executive roles.

Marcus has revealed few details about Lightspark’s plans, but says that the firm will “explore, build, and expand the capabilities and utility of Bitcoin.” He also says that the company will create a team to “dive deeper into the Lightning Network.” Given this context, it is very possible that the company may create a crypto payments service of some type.

The company’s first funding round will be led by a16z Crypto and Paradigm. Thrive Capital, Coatue, Felix Capital, Ribbit Capital, Matrix Partners, and Zeev Ventures will also participate. Lightspark did not indicate how much funding it planned to raise.

Marcus also commented on the recent crypto market downturn, now 60% below its peak. Marcus called this a good moment “to focus on building and creating value.”

Facebook, Meta, and Crypto

Marcus resigned from Diem, Facebook, and associated projects in November 2021 after the product repeatedly failed to launch.

Several Diem leaders also moved to a16z Crypto last year, which, perhaps not coincidentally, is funding Marcus’ new project.

Diem itself has continued in various forms. Former Diem developers announced a new blockchain called Aptos in February. Diem itself was sold to Silvergate Bank in a $200 million deal shortly before that.

Facebook’s parent company, meanwhile, is now focusing on integrating non-fungible tokens into Meta and Instagram services. Under its Meta Pay product line, it retains the Novi wallet, associated initially with Marcus’ crypto efforts.

Disclosure: At the time of writing, the author of this piece owned BTC, ETH, and other cryptocurrencies.

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