HSBC Doesn’t Allow its Clients to Buy MicroStrategy Stock Due to its Policy Change on Crypto

The largest bank in Europe, stuck with ‘blockchain not bitcoin’ says it will not facilitate any product related to virtual currencies.

HSBC, the largest bank in Europe with $2.7 trillion in assets, is yet again going against the market trend and sentiment as it prevents its clients from buying MicroStrategy (MSTR) stocks.

According to a personal message shared by the bank’s client on Twitter, the investment banking giant is not participating in facilitating any product related to cryptocurrencies.

“We'd like to inform you that HSBC has changed the policy on virtual currencies (such as Bitcoin, Ethereum and other digital currencies) and products related or referencing the performance of a virtual currencies. HIDC will not participate in facilitating (buy and/or exchange) product related to virtual currencies, or products related or referencing to the performance of virtual currency.”

The bank then goes on to say that because the publicly traded business intelligence company holds a virtual currency product, they won’t allow any additional purchases or transfers-in while already purchased MSTR stocks are permitted to be held, sold, and transferred out.

MicroStrategy first bet on Bitcoin in August by replacing cash with BTC on its balance sheet and has been doubling down on the largest crypto asset ever since then. Currently, it holds 91,579 BTC, representing just under 0.5% of Bitcoin’s circulating supply.

MSTR stocks are currently down 47.5% from their early Feb. high around $1,320 which was last seen in March 2000.

Meanwhile, HSBC stocks are up 17.6% YTD but have been on a downtrend ever since late 2007.

Unlike all the other big banking giants such as JPMorgan, Morgan Stanley, and BNY Mellon which are working on providing Bitcoin exposure to its clients, HSBC is moving in the opposite and backward direction.

Morgan Stanley actually increased its stake in MicroStrategy to 10.9% earlier this year.

HSBC seems to be stuck in the ‘blockchain not bitcoin’ stance as it announced that it plans to move the settlement of billions of dollars of assets onto a new blockchain-based custody platform built by the bank in March last year.

As we saw with IBM, which has been pumping money into blockchain since 2016 only to cut down its team to almost nothing this year, centralized blockchain solutions might not be the way. In fact, decentralized finance (DeFi) is working on making traditional finance obsolete.

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