David Marcus, the founder of mobile payments platform Zong and former leader of Facebook’s Libra cryptocurrency project, now focuses on building tools for easier access to Bitcoin’s Lightning Network through his new venture, Lightspark. Marcus initially saw potential in using Lightning for Libra but ultimately decided the protocol would not be robust enough to fulfill his vision.
Now Marcus has built an “unshakeable conviction” that Bitcoin and Lightning are the only blockchain and underlying assets that can support truly open payments on the internet. With companies like his making it easier to implement, Marcus is optimistic about the potential of Lightning to scale up.
Meanwhile, Sberbank, Russia’s largest banking institution by assets value, plans to allow private investors to buy and sell cryptocurrencies on its platform as early as June. The bank, which previously introduced the first blockchain-focused ETF in Russia and sought approval to issue its own digital currency, has created a scoring system to help customers understand the associated risks.
In the short term, Bitcoin holders who have owned cryptocurrency for less than 155 days are depositing 0.82% of their supply to exchanges, indicating possible selling behavior due to recent market volatility caused by the SEC’s lawsuit against Binance and Coinbase. However, the inflows are still lower than historical capitulation events, suggesting that the current uncertainty has not yet pushed these investors to sell at similar levels. As of writing, Bitcoin is trading at around $26,600, down 2% in the last week.
As blockchain technology continues to evolve, it’s interesting to see how various players in the market are responding to regulatory challenges and market volatility. With Marcus and Sberbank focusing on new tools and strategies to make cryptocurrency more accessible to everyday investors, it’s clear that innovation in this space is showing no signs of slowing down.