HSBC Maintains Anti-Crypto Stance Amid Growing Institutional Players
- Even as major financial institutions are joining the crypto wagon, HSBC has refused to offer crypto services.
- Speaking to news agency Reuters, HSBC Chief says the bank is not changing its stance on crypto anytime soon.
HSBC Not Interested In Bitcoin
Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan Chase & Co are a few of the legacy-backed financial institutions which have become pro-crypto in the last couple of months.
Despite what many may call a green light by the growing adoption of cryptocurrencies in financial settlements, HSBC Bank has buckled down on its crypto resolve.
According to a Reuters report, HSBC's CEO Noel Quinn said that the bank would not be offering crypto assets to its customers. He also said that the bank is not planning to launch a cryptocurrency trading desk any time soon.
Speaking on why the bank is maintaining a contrarian stance in the face of widespread adoption, Quinn said that the volatility concerns surrounding crypto assets like Bitcoin were a major problem. He also said the lack of transparency in knowing who initiates a transaction keeps the British-owned bank from diving into the crypto space. Quinn added,
“Given the volatility, we are not into Bitcoin as an asset class; if our clients want to be there, then of course they are, but we are not promoting it as an asset class within our wealth management business.”
HSBC is a well-known Bitcoin critic and reportedly barred its customers from trading US software company MicroStrategy trading stocks. According to the bank, Bitcoin is a virtual currency product, and customers will not be allowed to buy and trade products referencing the performance of these virtual currencies.
Quinn also spoke on stablecoins – digital assets meant to track the performance of its fiat counterpart. According to the HSBC executive, stablecoins presented an issue due to their reserves backing and accessibility.
Crypto Critics Continue Bashing
Quinn’s remarks come on the back of a major crypto market crash in the last few days. Bitcoin, the poster-child for crypto, suffered a massive slump after a public bashing by Bitcoin supporter Elon Musk.
Musk’s EV firm Tesla Inc which reportedly snagged up $1.5 billion worth of BTC in Feb. 2021 and accepted BTC payments, made a round-about turn after he said the energy consumption of BTC was “insane.”
This sudden change in narrative led to Bitcoin shedding as much as 50% of its market cap and the broader crypto market plunging below its $2 trillion valuations.
As though that was not enough, Chinese officials have reportedly called for a crackdown on cryptocurrencies citing the inherent investor harm it may orchestrate given its volatile nature.
BTC trades at $37,587, a far cry from its $65,000 valuation in mid-April.