Bitcoin is too volatile so HSBC does not intend to offer it to its customers. This was told to Reuters by the bank’s CEO, Noel Quinn.
“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”.
There is little to argue about Bitcoin’s volatility. After all, in the last few days alone the queen of cryptocurrencies has lost about 50% from its all-time high of $65,000 in April. But HSBC doesn’t seem to want to know anything about stablecoins either, which on the contrary are not volatile.
According to Reuters, China is an important market for HSBC’s expansion. However, it was precisely China that issued a new ban on bitcoin last Thursday, effectively preventing financial institutions from offering it as a service or accepting it as a means of payment.
It was this ban by the world’s most populous country that led to the loss of value of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies in recent days.
Of course, bitcoin has reached 30,000 dollars in recent days, but it has recovered so much that it is now back at 37,000.
In short, the statements of the CEO of HSBC have not affected BTC, which after a terrible weekend, today gains 4%.
But according to Reuters, HSBC is so hostile to cryptocurrencies that it has banned its clients from buying shares in Microstrategy, which, as we know, has made Bitcoin its primary reserve and has CEO Michael Saylor as one of Bitcoin’s most important “ambassadors”.
Bitcoin, HSBC distinguishes itself from other banks
While HSBC seems to be saying “no” to bitcoin, other banks are studying it carefully. This is the case of Goldman Sachs, which instead considers bitcoin an inevitable asset.
Mathew McDermott, global head of digital assets at Goldman Sachs, said in new research:
“Bitcoin is now considered an investable asset. It has its own idiosyncratic risk, partly because it’s still relatively new and going through an adoption phase. And it doesn’t behave as one would intuitively expect relative to other assets given the analogy to digital gold; to date, it’s tended to be more aligned with risk-on assets. But clients and beyond are largely treating it as a new asset class, which is notable—it’s not often that we get to witness the emergence of a new asset class”.
The attitude of Goldman Sachs, which recently launched new derivatives on Bitcoin, should come as no surprise.
Similarly, JPMorgan has become pro-Bitcoin and will launch a fund on BTC, although CEO Jamie Dimon remains a crypto-sceptic.
In short, some banks may become crypto-friendly. But others just don’t think about it.