After a year of quiet, the well-funded Bitcoin tech infrastructure company Lightspark, founded in 2022, has unveiled a platform for Bitcoin’s Lightning Network aimed at onboarding businesses to the network.
Lightspark is led by former Paypal president and entrepreneur David Marcus, who co-created Diem, a Facebook cryptocurrency product that failed to take flight after arousing the suspicions of US regulators. Lightspark’s announcement on Twitter calls the new Lightspark Platform “the first enterprise-grade entry point to the Lightning Network.”
The Lightning Network speeds up Bitcoin transactions and is often trumpeted as providing a missing piece from Bitcoin that will push the digital currency mainstream.
But so far, Lightning products have been hard for people outside of Bitcoin to wrap their heads around. Lightsparks’ goal is to make it easier for enterprises to absorb.
To that end, Marcus tweeted a bold claim: “Today, the complexity and steep learning curve inherent to Lightning are gone.
“It’s now intuitive and easy to reliably send and receive payments on the network or to build payment experiences without any of the constraints of antiquated rails,” he wrote. “Hello, streaming money!”
Lightspark joins a chorus of other Bitcoin companies and open-source developers focused on bringing the advantages of Lightning to a wider audience, since Lightning is an open protocol that makes global payments faster, cheaper, and gives users more control than traditional digital payment systems.
Last month, Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey announced the roadmap for Spiral, which is developing a payment processing layer for the Lightning Network. In October, Bitcoin-focused startup ZEBEDEE launched an open-source initiative for the network.
“We believe the Internet badly needs an open payment protocol—one that works 24/7, settles in near real-time, is dirt cheap, interoperable, and open to all to build on,” Marcus said. “Money should move online like emails or text messages, and the Lightning Network has the best chance of becoming the standard protocol that enables that and much more for everyone around the world.”