16 Sep, 2023

Ex-PayPal Chief Aims to Transform Bitcoin Into a Universal Payment System

Yulia Zakharchuk
Written by
Julia Zakharchuk
Yulia Zakharchuk Julia Zakharchuk Expert Author
Julia is a professional crypto and blockchain writer known for her insightful YouTube channel "MoneyFest." She showcases her dynamic presentation skills as a host and moderator at blockchain conferences. Julia drives also business development at ChainUp and advises UNITBOX, an innovative NFT renting protocol. With her exceptional expertise, Julia is a highly valued industry contributor...
Shawn Munir
Fact checked by
Shawn Munir
Shawn Munir Shawn Munir Expert Author
Shawn Munir is the CEO of Coinweb.com and spearheads all the collaborative partnerships for the platform. He bought his first Bitcoin in 2017 and never looked back. He is also an investor in 200+ Web3 startups and is considered an expert in the field. Before building Coinweb with his co-founders, he co-founded Presail, a management...
Bitcoin Universal Payment System


  • According to David Marcus, Bitcoin is a perfect worldwide payment system, not just a store of value.
  • Marcus believes that Bitcoin, when paired with the Lightning Network, can potentially change how we settle global transactions.

David Marcus Wants to Use Bitcoin for International Payments 

While data can now be swiftly transferred through emails or messages, international payments are stuck in the “fax era.” 

That’s how David Marcus, a former key figure at PayPal, described the current state of banking worldwide. 

Ex-PayPal Chief David Marcus.
Ex-PayPal Chief David Marcus.

During a CNBC interview, the co-founder of Lightspark expressed his conviction that Bitcoin’s Lightning Network is the solution to this problem. 

Here’s how Marcus described the problem:

“If you were to send someone money [but] they were not a UScitizen 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.”

David Marcus, Co-Founder of LightSpark

Bitcoin Lightning Network Can Change That 

David’s solution to this problem is simple. Implementing the Lightning Network as the sole payment system globally can eliminate all the delays and problems of the traditional system. 

“We’re trying to turn Bitcoin into a global payment network.”

The ex-president of PayPal, however, foresees that Bitcoin Lightning may not be the preferred choice for daily transactions. Instead, it will predominantly be used for overseas transfers. 

“We don’t see Bitcoin as the currency for everyday purchases,” he stated. 

Instead, he envisages Bitcoin being utilized to transfer US dollars, with the recipient getting it in other currencies. 

No matter whether it’s the Yen or Euro, LN can transmit and receive that to the other end of the globe in seconds.

Marcus highlighted that integrating Bitcoin’s settlement layer with Lightning’s instantaneous payments offers a final cash transaction at a minimal expense. 

Bitcoin Lightning Abilities and Growth

Lightspark, the company founded by David, serves as a high-caliber portal to the LN. Yet, its current pricing model isn’t feasible for mainstream consumer adoption. 

In August, Coinbase’s CEO alluded to the potential incorporation of Bitcoins layer into their system. Another big crypto getaway, Binance, has already integrated the network into their system. 

Now, Binance users can withdraw, send, or receive Bitcoin payments on the Lightning Network.

Although LN’s usage has seen a dip since its all-time high in early 2022, this is the bear market we’re talking about. 

Present data from Bitcoin Visuals indicates that there are 72,593 active LN channels right now. This is a 14.5% decrease since the year’s inset. 

Bitcoin payments on lightning network.
Bitcoin payments on the lightning network.

The prevailing network capacity stands at about 4,782 BTC, equating to roughly $123 million based on today’s rates. 

Can this scaling solution become the world’s #1 payment system? It’s hard to say, but the huge potential is there…