Facebook Accused of ‘Ripping off’ Logo for Its Calibra Cryptocurrency Project

Facebook has recently been accused by the founder of an online bank, Current, of copying his company’s logo to use on the Calibra cryptocurrency project. The logo, according to the founder, took six months to perfect.

Speaking to CNBC, the CEO of Current and a former Wall Street trader, Stuart Sopp, revealed he hired a San Francisco-based design firm named character to create the logo of his startup back in 2016. The logo bears a striking resemblance to that of Facebook’s cryptocurrency project Calibra, so much so Sopp noted that when he first saw it he thought he was being pranked.

Via a phone interview, Sopp noted he sees this as a “funny way to try and create trust in a new global financial system – by ripping off another fintech firm.” He added that Facebook has “all the money and resources in the world,” and that if it wanted to make banking more inclusive, it should be using its “own ideas and branding.”

Current has 45 employees and 350,000 accounts, and is relatively small compared to Facebook’s near 2 billion user base, and its vision to help the unbanked with the Libra cryptocurrency.

According to Sopp, his firm worked with Character for six months to develop the logo, that’s “meant to capture the importance of movement – of both money and people – by representing a wave.” In 2016, the firm applied for trademarks, which are pending. His firm engaged law firm Goodwin Procter to determine if it has an infringement case against the social media giant.

Sopp added that through a direct message to Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss on Twitter, the Harvard twins famously claimed Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg stole their idea for the social media network, he said “now I know how you guys felt.”

Calibra, as CryptoGlobe covered, will offer users a wallet to store and spend their cryptocurrency Libra, which is set to be launched next year. Facebook’s goal is to start offering its users financial services, including loans and investments, through the cryptocurrency project.

Its service, however, will depend on regulators, which will have to be convinced the benefits of such a system will outweigh the risks. Lawmakers in the U.S. have already called on the social media giant to halt its project, while a top Russian official has claimed the country won’t be legalizing the Libra cryptocurrency.