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No Bitcoin, Please: MicroStrategy Gets HSBC Ax

April 13, 2021 2:37 am
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No Bitcoin, Please: MicroStrategy Gets HSBC Ax

HSBC Holdings plc (NYSE:HSBC) has banned customers of its online share-trading platform from buying or moving shares of MicroStrategy Inc. (NASDAQ:MSTR) into their accounts, Reuters reported Monday.

What Happened: HSBC said it will not facilitate the buying or exchange of products related to or referencing the performance of virtual currencies, according to the report that cited a message to a client on the bank’s InvestDirect stock trading platform.

The message reportedly referred to MicroStrategy’s stock as a “virtual currency product.”

While HSBC will allow the holding, sale, and outgoing transfer of MicroStrategy shares, it will forbid new purchases or incoming transfers, as per the report.

MicroStrategy, a Virginia-based business software firm, is led by Bitcoin proponent Michael Saylor, and owns bitcoin worth billions of dollars. Saylor said in March that one of his tweets played a pivotal role in Tesla Inc.’s (NASDAQ:TSLA) $1.5 billion investment in Bitcoin.

See Also: Jack Dorsey's Square To Fund Developers Of Popular Bitcoin Tool

Why It Matters: HSBC’s decision is part of a broader move by the bank to limit cryptocurrency trading. However, the move comes against the growing number of financial firms and companies that are embracing cryptocurrencies.

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYSE:GS) said in March it is preparing to introduce cryptocurrency investment options amid clients' rising interest.

JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM) revealed earlier it would be launching Cryptocurrency Exposure Basket – a debt instrument with positions in 11 companies. The debt instrument allocates 20% to MicroStrategy and 18% to Jack Dorsey-led Square Inc. (NYSE:SQ) – two companies that declared their Bitcoin investments early on.

See also: HSBC InvestDirect Review

MicroStrategy said in a regulatory filing last week it held about 91,579 bitcoins that were acquired at an aggregate purchase price of $2.226 billion and an average purchase price of about $24,311 per bitcoin.

Price Action: HSBC shares closed 0.5% lower on Monday at $29.74, while MicroStrategy shares closed more than 1% higher at $718.24. Bitcoin traded 2.1% higher at $61,377 at press time on Tuesday.

Read Next: Is Buying Tesla Stock In Tokens Rather Than Actual Shares The Better Choice?

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