HSBC, the leading British investment bank giant, has prohibited the consumers of its online trading platform, HSBC InvestDirect (HIDC), from buying the shares of MicroStrategy, a business intelligence company, trading under the ticker MSTR. Tweets have spread across Twitter with screenshots of interactions via email and live consumer chats with HSBIC consumer service representatives. In these interactions, the bank instructs consumers to stop purchasing MSTR stock and that HSBC will not promote virtual currency products. HSBC takes this decision as per the bank’s new policy on virtual currencies and products.
The email dated March 29, 2021, details that HSBC will allow the users to hold, sell or transfer the existing MSTR holdings out of the consumer’s HSBC InvestDirect account. However, it wouldn’t allow new purchases and inward transfers. As per the alleged HSBC communique, MicroStrategy is a virtual currency product, hence the blacklisting. MicroStrategy, the leading business intelligence platform, has pioneered Bitcoin (BTC) adoption amongst publicly listed companies in the U.S. After adding bitcoin to its balance sheet back in August 2020, the Fortune 500 company presently holds 90,000 bitcoin currently valued at approximately $5.26 billion.
HSBC Lists Various Companies Investing in Bitcoins
The prohibition of MSTR is only the latest in HSBC’s current anti-crypto moves. Earlier in the year, the world’s sixth-largest bank also banned consumers from transferring profits from crypto exchanges to their bank accounts. Notwithstanding prohibiting users from purchasing MicroStrategy stock, news of similar prohibitions has yet to appear for other companies with Bitcoin investment interests. Admittedly, HSBC still lists companies with notable Bitcoin investments like Tesla, Hut 8 Mining, and Square, to mention a few, on the HIDC trading catalogue.
Furthermore, HSBC becomes the recent bank to respond negatively to MicroStrategy’s Bitcoin investment. Earlier in December 2020, Citibank demoted MSTR over its disproportionate focus on the most significant crypto by market capitalization. MicroStrategy’s Bitcoin investment originally appeared to trigger a positive run for its stock price, touching a 21-year high above $1,200 back in early February. MSTR has since fought and is now approximately 50% down from its 2021 peak.
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