Bakkt Partners With David Marcus’ Lightspark to Bring UMA to the Lightning Network

Bakkt, the New York-based digital assets platform, has joined LightSpark as one of the first partners in a bid to offer Universal Money Address (UMA) for KYC-verified transactions on top of the Lightning Network for B2B clients.

LightSpark is headed by CEO David Marcus, who was previously in charge of Meta’s ambitious Diem project that never went live. Marcus’s new company has launched a service to make fast transactions leveraging Bitcoin on scaling solution, the Lightning Network.

Bakkt and Lightspark Unite for LN’s UMA Integration

According to the latest blog post, Lightspark unveiled the Universal Money Address (UMA) standard that combines human-readable Lightning Addresses with enhanced messaging and integration with the Lightning Network’s payment rails to enable sending money as effortless as sending an email.

It is open-source and available for anyone to use.

In addition to Bakkt, infrastructure provider Zero Hash also plans to extend UMA solutions to their corporate clients. The move is expected to cater to businesses seeking to seamlessly integrate real-time, cost-effective, cross-border payment channels into their product offering.

Additionally, and Xapo Bank will join Lightspark to offer UMAs to their customers in the coming months.

Commenting on the development, Marcus said,

“Open sourcing the Universal Money Address (UMA) standard. Money needs to move like email, so we’ve extended Lightning and LNURL to support compliance and FX. Users will be able to send/receive fiat & crypto via their UMA-enabled exchange, wallet, or bank.”

The former Meta exec also highlighted that UMA doesn’t require Lightspark services to function.

David Marcus’s Bitcoin-Focused Venture

Months after leaving Meta’s cryptocurrency attempt, Diem, Marcus announced the launch of Lightspark in May 2022. The exec had then revealed plans to form a team that would explore the Lightning Network.

The first round of funding for the company was led by Andreessen Horowitz (a16z) and Paradigm. Ribbit Capital, Thrive Capital, Zeev Ventures, and Felix Capital were some of the other investors who also participated in the round.

Meta, on the other hand, disbanded the Diem initiative, which is currently undergoing a revival effort led by a new team operating under the banner of Aptos.


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