Home Cryptocurrency HSBC Says No to Bitcoin

HSBC Says No to Bitcoin

by Serge Shlykov

The Department of Justice is ramping up its investigation into cryptocurrency users and traders. The US is looking into price manipulation, market fraud, and money laundering, according to a report from CNBC. This is just the latest news to paint the picture of a market that is being regulated into oblivion. The recent announcement by the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission that they would allow the Chicago Mercantile Exchange and the CBOE Futures Exchange to list bitcoin futures contracts could have been the nail in the coffin for the cryptocurrency market.

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“We have no plans to trade the bitcoin for the foreseeable future”, says HSBC global markets chief executive, Stuart Gulliver. “To be clear, no we are not saying that we are going to be a dominant player in the future, we are not saying that we are going to be an active trader in the future, we are not saying that we are going to be allowed to be active traders in the future.”

As  the dominant cryptocurrency world continues to grow, with many countries going to establish their own cryptocurrencies, the all too famous bitcoin seems to have hit a wall in its growth. The world’s 4th largest, HSBC, has spoken out against bitcoin, saying that it is “hugely problematic” and “a poor store of value”. This is not the first time that an important financial institution has spoken out against the bitcoin currency; this is the second time that HSBC has spoken out against the bitcoin currency.. Read more about hsbc bitcoin policy and let us know what you think.

Amid the popularity of digital currencies at banks like Citigroup, Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs, HSBC has reiterated its stance on investing in cryptocurrencies. Speaking to Reuters, HSBC CEO Noel Quinn said the bank has no plans to launch a crypto currency trading desk or offer digital coins. Quinn says bitcoin’s current volatility means it’s not suitable for them as an investment: Given its volatility, we do not consider bitcoin an asset class. If our clients want to, of course they do, but we do not promote it as an asset class within our asset management business. HSBC is also not interested in stable currencies because they are too volatile: For the same reasons, we are in no hurry to invest in stable plays, Quinn said.

Current bitcoin volatility

Bitcoin’s volatility has been on the radar in recent months. In February, bitcoin broke through the $50,000 mark for the first time, and in April, the cryptocurrency reached its highest value to date at nearly $64,9,000. But bitcoin failed to maintain its value after a series of negative reports about the currency went public. We learned that bitcoin mining in China uses fossil fuels, Tesla is stopping bitcoin payments because of environmental concerns, and the Chinese government is cracking down on cryptocurrency miners. BTC is currently trading at around $37,800, down more than 40% from its peak in mid-April. One of the factors contributing to Quinn’s skepticism of cryptocurrencies is the ambiguity of the currency’s ownership. It’s also clear to Quinn that bitcoin is more of a possession than a means of payment: I see bitcoin as an asset class rather than a payment instrument, with very difficult questions about how it should be valued on a client’s balance sheet, as it is highly volatile.

Central bank digital currencies (CBDCs)

One type of currency that Quinn supports is the central bank’s CBDC digital currency. CBDCs can simplify international transactions in e-wallets, eliminate frictions, are likely to work seamlessly and have strong value storage properties. According to James Pomeroy, an economist at HSBC, the Bank for International Settlements estimates that 10% of central banks could issue CBDCs within three years and 20% within six years. There are pilot projects in Ukraine, South Korea, Iceland and Thailand, while ideas are being considered in Canada, Brazil and Cambodia. The Bahamas’ sand dollar mapping system has already been tested on two islands, Mr Pomeroy added. Of the major economic players, Sweden’s Riksbank and the People’s Bank of China are quick to develop CBDCs, Pomeroy said. HSBC is participating in the Chinese CBDC project. In particular, the Bank is assisting the country in testing currencies for cross-border payments. On Friday, China announced restrictions on mining cryptocurrencies. As a result, the price of bitcoin has fallen dramatically. Speaking to CNBC, Paul Makel, head of currency research at HSBC, said this is nothing new, as China has been rather cautious about cryptocurrencies so far. He also said the move does not conflict with the country’s plan to introduce its CBDC digital yuan.When you hear the words “Bitcoin” and “banks” in the same sentence, it’s usually a sign that the cryptocurrency is in trouble. After all, large financial institutions are what the Bitcoin community has long been up in arms against. (And with good reason: banks have regularly targeted Bitcoin users and services in the past.) But even so, the news that the largest bank in Europe, HSBC, is joining the anti-Bitcoin chorus is a big deal.. Read more about hsbc bitcoin account and let us know what you think.

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