Global payments have remained stuck in a “fax era” while information can be easily transferred over the internet, said the former president of PayPal. In an interview with CNBC, the former PayPal executive and co-founder of Bitcoin Lightning-focused payment service Lightspark, David Marcus, expressed his belief that Bitcoin’s Lightning network could revolutionize the process of sending money across jurisdictions.
Marcus drew a comparison between sending messages and sending money, stating, “If you were to stop [someone] and wanting to communicate with them you could ask them for an email address and you can email them easily the next minute [and] you could text them.” However, he pointed out that there is no universal protocol for transferring money online, highlighting the limitations of current global payment systems.
Marcus elaborated, stating, “If you were to send them money [but] they were not a U.S citizen here using one of the same fintech apps you’re using then you wouldn’t be able to do that. So we’re still in the fax era of global payments.” According to him, current methods of transferring money to non-U.S. residents involve obtaining their bank account number and physically going to a local bank to make an international wire transfer, which can be inconvenient and time-consuming.
Marcus highlighted the time constraint of traditional transfer methods, saying, “If it’s after Friday at 5 pm, tough luck.” This emphasizes the need for a more efficient and accessible solution for global payments.
The former PayPal president believes that Bitcoin‘s Lightning network could be the answer to this problem. His company, Lightspark, is now focused on harnessing the power of the Lightning network to enable seamless cross-border money transfers.
While Marcus sees the potential of Bitcoin Lightning for overseas transfers, he does not believe it will be widely adopted for everyday purchases. Instead, he envisions Bitcoin being used to send U.S. dollars, which are ultimately converted into other local currencies at the receiving end.
Marcus emphasized the advantages of Bitcoin’s settlement layer combined with Lightning’s real-time payment capabilities, noting that it enables cash finality at a very low cost. This could potentially revolutionize the costly and time-consuming process of international money transfers.
The race to solve the challenges of global payments using Bitcoin’s Lightning network is on, as Lightspark aims to streamline cross-border transactions and bring the era of efficient and accessible global payments.
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