HSBC is not that interested in Bitcoin, bans MicroStrategy Stock.
Now that HSBC is not letting traders on its investing platform dabble in MicroStrategy stock, will it implement its anti-crypto policy to Coinbase shares?
One of the largest banks in the world, HSBC already blocks transfer from cryptocurrency exchanges to its client accounts. It has taken its anti-crypto policy a step further.
That bank confirmed that it no longer allows the customers to trade MicroStrategy stock because of the company’s significant Bitcoin holdings.
In a message last March 29 to a client on HSBC’s InvestDirect stock trading platform, the bank stated that it had “changed the policy on virtual currencies” and virtual currency-related products. As a result, clients cannot purchase or transfer such assets anymore, although they can continue to hold or sell them.
Microstrategy controls over 91,000 BTC; the cryptocurrency comprises 80% of its treasury, this means that the company’s day-to-day fortunes are contingent on Bitcoin’s market price. So far, the strategy has somehow worked. MicroStrategy has converted its $2.2 billion investment to nearly $5.5 billion as Bitcoin’s price has risen to record highs.
It isn’t clearly enough to convince HSBC to make MicroStrategy stock available to the Canadian and British retail traders. The London-based HSBC’s approach stands in contrast to investment banks like BNY Mellon and Morgan Stanley, which have jumped into Bitcoin trading activities. Stanley even bought a 10% stake in MicroStrategy last December.
For the meantime, HSBC falls in the “blockchain, not Bitcoin” camp, having worked with some global banks to run a permissioned blockchain for transactions, Contour.
This timing creates a tricky decision for HSBC, as it comes closer to Coinbase’s direct listing. Shares in the San Francisco-based crypto exchange began trading on Nasdaq this coming Wednesday, but it is not clear if HSBC regards it as a virtual currency “product” with the company’s holdings that are primarily in fiat. After Coinbase reported its first quarter earnings with an estimated profit of $730 – $800 million, its stocks could be in high demand.
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