HSBC bans clients from buying shares of MicroStrategy, which has become known for its massive bitcoin purchases

AP20216200597100
  • HSBC has instituted a new policy preventing clients from purchasing and moving shares of MicroStrategy into their account, according to Reuters.
  • The decision comes as HSBC broadly clamps down on cryptocurrency trading.
  • MicroStrategy has repeatedly made headlines in recent weeks by buying large amounts of bitcoin.
  • Sign up here for our daily newsletter, 10 Things Before the Opening Bell

HSBC has said it will prevent clients from purchasing and moving shares of MicroStrategy into their InvestDirect accounts, according to a March 29 message viewed by Reuters that referred to the stock as a “virtual currency product.”

The decision comes amid a broader move by HSBC to limit cryptocurrency trading.

“HSBC has no appetite for direct exposure to virtual currencies and limited appetite to facilitate products or securities that derive their value from VCs (virtual currencies),” HSBC said in the same statement viewed by Reuters.

HSBC did not immediately respond to Insider for comment.

MicroStrategy last August became the first publicly listed company to buy bitcoin as part of its capital allocation strategy. It’s since bought billions worth of the coin on multiple occasions, and currently holds $5.4 billion, according to a regulatory filing. Further, Michael Saylor’s firm announced on Monday that it is paying non-employee board members entirely in bitcoin instead of cash.

HSBC’s move goes against the wave of institutions and major corporations adopting bitcoin. Heavyweights including Goldman Sachs, Bank of New York Mellon, Tesla, PayPal, and Visa have started facilitating transactions in the coin, or accepting it as payment.

Bitcoin, the world’s most popular cryptocurrency, rose as much as 2.6% to $61,229 on Monday ahead of Coinbase’s listing this week.

Cryptocurrencies as a whole hit a record high of market capitalization of $2 trillion early this month, having doubled in value in just three months.

Read the original article on Business Insider