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Facebook “ripped off” Current bank’s logo for its Calibra crypto branding, CEO says

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Here we were, thinking that the biggest problem of Facebook’s cryptocurrency project’s credibility might be its financial credibility. But identity?

Current, with 45 employees and 350,000 accounts, is tiny compared with the grand vision Facebook promoted in interviews this week. But Stuart Sopp, a Wall Street trader turned CEO, told CNBC, that Current was launched with a similar belief: that the existing financial system isn’t serving the large swaths of people.

The start-up first targeted teens with a banking product and this year widened its appeal by offering no-fee checking accounts geared toward gig economy workers.

Sopp worked months with the startup Character to come up with the firm’s logo, he said. It’s meant to capture the importance of the movement – of both money and people – by representing a wave. Current applied for trademarks in 2016, which are pending.

“We put six months of hard work into this with that design firm, which they basically reused for Facebook without changing much,” Sopp said. “Facebook is a big company that should have done their due diligence on this.”

Current engaged a law firm, Goodwin Procter, to determine if it has a trademark or patent infringement case, Sopp said. The firm did not return a call for comment. Facebook’ only problem while forging its own (crypto) currency Libra – might be some ethical or privacy concerns. Or really, just the broadest financial concerns.

And let’s face it, those may have been so many and so intense that it’s kind of understandable that the branding effort for the Libra cryptocurrency may not have been as front and center or as top notch as expected.

Well that’s really a lie: if you are going to harness the +2 billion Facebook users into a new currency pegged against the world’s most stable fiat money – and explicitly support that effort by some of the world’s biggest financial organizations – like Visa, and Mastercard… then come on, at least hire top notch UI/UX designers worth all their salt to launch this Libra thing.

Or don’t.

Instead of “Facebook money” being talked everywhere for all the right or wrongs reasons it might bring with it – the founder of the online bank Current claims Facebook copied his company’s logo for the social network’s bid to make its own visual stomp as it apparently looks to “reinvent the global financial system.”

This is a funny way to try and create trust in a new global financial system, “by ripping off another fintech firm,” Sopp told CNBC and added: “Facebook has all the money and resources in the world. If they truly wanted to make banking more inclusive and fair, they should’ve come up with their own ideas and branding, like we have.”

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