Buying MicroStrategy (MSTR) and Coinbase(COIN) stock is reportedly no longer possible for HSBC customers on the bank’s online trading platform — HSBC InvestDirect, or HIDC, as of today
Europe’s largest bank in Europe, with total assets of $2.715 trillion, is likely to avoid Coinbase’s newly listed COIN stock because of lingering worries about crypto’s role in money laundering and criminal activity.
SBC has no appetite for direct exposure to virtual currencies and limited appetite to facilitate products or securities that derive their value from virtual currencies. This is not a new policyAnkit Patel, HSBC corporate media relations manager
Two weeks ago, according to a supposed message from the bank to its customers, HSBC has directed users that already own MicroStrategy stock not to buy additional shares.
Twitter user Camiam claimed to have received such a message from the banking giant on March 29:
The MSTR blacklisting appears to be part of the bank’s amended user policy prohibiting users from interacting with cryptocurrencies with an excerpt from the message reading:
HIDC will not participate in facilitating (buy and/or exchange) product relating to virtual currencies, or products related to or referencing to the performance of virtual currency.HSBC
According to the alleged HSBC screenshot, MicroStrategy is a virtual currency product hence the reason for the blacklisting.
Since first adding Bitcoin to its balance sheet back in August 2020, the Fortune 500 company now holds over 90,000 BTC currently valued at about $5.26 billion.
The blacklisting of MSTR is only the latest in HSBC’s recent anti-crypto moves
Earlier in the year, the world’s sixth-largest bank also reportedly blocked customers from moving profits from crypto exchanges to their bank accounts.
Despite banning users from buying MicroStrategy stock, reports of similar prohibitions are yet to emerge for other companies with Bitcoin investment interests. Indeed, companies with significant Bitcoin investments like Tesla, Hut 8 Mining, and Square to mention a few are still listed on the HIDC trading catalog.
HSBC becomes the latest bank to react negatively to MicroStrategy’s Bitcoin involvement. Back in December 2020, Citibank downgraded MSTR over the company’s “disproportionate” focus on the largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization. And more lately, the attention has been focused on the environmental issues that might arise out of the mainstream crypto adoption. But we don’t agree here at Decentra.news.
As the popularity of crypto raises, more and more mining companies are gonna be looking for sustainable energy alternatives to power their mining operations. Bitfarms, a Canadian company from the Quebec province is one of them.
MicroStrategy’s Bitcoin investment initially seem to trigger a positive run for the company’s stock price reaching a 21-year high above $1,200 back in early February. MSTR has since struggled and is now almost 50% down from its 2021 peak.
Neither HSBC nor MicroStrategy immediately replied to Cointelegraph’s request for comments. As of April 9th, MSTR stock was trading at $692 on the Nasdaq exchange.