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HSBC Prohibits Clients from Trading Bitcoin-Backed MicroStrategy Stock

HSBC has ramped up its anti-crypto policy, banning its clients from trading MicroStrategy stock as the banking institution deems it to be “a virtual currency product.”

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HSBC has ramped up its anti-crypto policy, restricting its clients from trading MicroStrategy stock as the banking institution deems it to be “a virtual currency product.”

Although HSBC traders will be allowed to hold and sell their MicroStrategy shares, they will not be able to buy or trade new MicroStrategy stocks on HSBC’s investment platform, as MicroStrategy’s underlying valuation is closely tied with Bitcoin. Currently, Bitcoin makes up 80% of MicroStrategy’s reserve.

Per a statement from HSBC shared with Reuters:

“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).”

In a statement released on March 29, HSBC said that it had revised its policy on virtual currencies. Consequently, clients can no longer purchase or transfer digital assets, but they can continue to hold them or sell them.

HSBC’s announcement comes at a time when major institutions have changed their views regarding Bitcoin. MicroStrategy leads the pack of institutions expressing a growing interest in diversifying their treasury reserve with the mainstream cryptocurrency.

Demand for Bitcoin and Crypto Skyrockets

Other leading institutions have also begun to recognize Bitcoin’s worth as a store of value. Last month, Morgan Stanley announced that its customers will now have access to Bitcoin fund investments. Eligible clients will have access to three Bitcoin funds, two of which originates from Galaxy Digital and one from a joint fund established by FS Investments and NYDIG.

Institutional interest has been the underlying rocket fuel that has catapulted Bitcoin to new heights. From the beginning of 2020 to now, BTC has experienced an incredible growth, increasing by 781%. At the time of writing, Bitcoin is trading sideways at $60,610.90, according to data from CoinMarketCap. Currently, Bitcoin appears to be consolidating before moving higher.

With the entire crypto market hitting a valuation of over $2 trillion, market experts are anticipating that this is just the beginning of digital assets entering mainstream finance. Justin Shuh, a senior trader at Wave Financial asset investment management firm, predicts that more and more crypto portfolios will soon emerge, as demand for cryptocurrencies rises. In an email shared with Blockchain.news, Shuh said:

“Now that crypto-assets are becoming more mainstream, large cap coins and tokens are big magnets for investors with direct market access. Investment trusts and funds are announcing additions to their product line up or inclusion in their offerings. Now that the investable base is wider, the sophisticated investor will likely distribute new risk across several blockchain protocols and create diversified or fragmented crypto portfolios similar to equities in the traditional world.”

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“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).”

Source: https://blockchain.news/analysis/hsbc-prohibits-clients-trading-bitcoin-backed-microstrategy-shares

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Ethereum is Expected to Undergo a 90% Daily Emission Reduction Following ETH 2.0 Upgrade

Market analyst Lark Davis believes that Ethereum 2.0 upgrade will prompt a 90% daily emission reduction from 12,800 to 1,280.

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Ethereum (ETH) was up by 9.72% in the past week to breach the psychological price of $2K during intraday trading. ETH’s price stood at $2,056 as the second-largest cryptocurrency continues to gain momentum.

Market analyst Lark Davis believes that the upgrade of Ethereum 2.0 will prompt a 90% daily emission reduction from 12,800 to 1,280. He explained:

“The other wildly important aspect of The Merger is that ETH will undergo a 90% reduction in daily emission. Basically from 12,800 a day to 1,280 a day. Yearly inflation from 4.3% down to 0.43%. This is equivalent to 3 Bitcoin halvings, and is only months away.”

Ethereum 2.0, also known as the Beacon Chain, was launched in December 2020 and was regarded as a game-changer that seeks to transit the current proof-of-work (POW) consensus mechanism to a proof-of-stake (POS) framework.

Davis also noted that Ethereum would experience “Triple Halving” as part of the ETH 2.0 upgrade, a highly significant economic event for the asset’s price in the coming years.

Ethereum whales cumulatively hold 60.52 million ETH

According to on-chain metrics provider Santiment:

“Ethereum whales that hold between 10k and 1 million ETH in their respective wallets now own a cumulative total of 60.52m coins. This is the highest amount held by this tier since in 5 weeks, and represents a 1.65million ETH accumulation in the past 6 days.”

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Therefore, ETH whales continue investing in this asset, which indicates high confidence levels.

Ethereum has been making headlines based on its notable strides. For instance, ETH has had an impressive return on investment (ROI) of 171% this year compared to tech stocks like Microsoft, Facebook, and Apple. Furthermore, Davis had previously noted that Ethereum was settling three times more value on-chain than Bitcoin daily.

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“The other wildly important aspect of The Merger is that ETH will undergo a 90% reduction in daily emission. Basically from 12,800 a day to 1,280 a day. Yearly inflation from 4.3% down to 0.43%. This is equivalent to 3 Bitcoin halvings, and is only months away.”

Source: https://blockchain.news/analysis/ethereum-is-expected-undergo-a-90-percent-daily-emission-reduction-following-eth-2.0-upgrade

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South Korea Authorities Seizes $47M in Crypto from Tax Evaders

South Korean authorities have made the largest crypto seizures in the country’s history. $47 million in digital currencies have been confiscated.

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Authorities in the South Korean province of Gyeonggi have conducted the largest tax seizures ever, seizing $47 million in Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH).


According to the coverage reported by the Financial Times, the seizure involved about 12,000 tax evaders. The authority has called the action the largest “cryptocurrency seizure for back taxes in Korean history.”

Those “tax dodgers” committed the crime by connecting their trading or investment activities on trading platforms operating in the country with their phone numbers. The process, though rigorous, had to be done manually as crypto exchanges were unable to fully provide the Know-Your-Customer (KYC) details of the defaulting taxpayers. In addition, the FT report was unclear which digital currency trading platform was involved in the investigation.

South Korea has a robust cryptocurrency trading engagement amongst its citizens, and the country has been making moves to implement accomodating regulations. One of these is the law passed by the Korean National Assembly in March 2020. This law mandates cryptocurrency exchanges to take down customer’s details through KYC and obtain licenses to operate from banks.

While big exchanges such as UpBit have been able to comply, other smaller trading platforms have had their struggles in complying, a situation that was compounded by financial institutions dissociating from crypto exchanges. Besides these, South Korea has long been mulling enforcing a 20% capital gains tax on cryptocurrencies, all of which will be made easier with compliant crypto exchanges.

South Korea is one of the more receptive countries to blockchain and cryptocurrency-related innovations. While crypto has thrived in the country in the past decade, the government is taking bold steps to develop its own Central Bank Digital Currency, the Digital Won. Despite its soft stance, however, the nation has zero-tolerance for fraud amongst crypto entities, as showcased in the ongoing raid of Bithumb exchange amidst a broad fraud investigation.

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Source: https://blockchain.news/news/south-korea-authorities-seizes-47m-in-crypto-from-tax-evaders

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MicroStrategy Acquires Extra 13,005 Bitcoins, Owning Over 100,000 BTC

MicroStrategy CEO Michael Saylor confirmed the firm acquires additional 13,005 Bitcoins, by spending roughly $489 million in cash at an average price of around $37,617 per bitcoin. The company now

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Leading American business intelligence firm MicroStrategy is not relenting in its quest of purchasing more Bitcoin, acknowledged by the firm’s CEO Michael Saylor.

The MicroStrategy CEO said:

“MicroStrategy has purchased an additional 13,005 Bitcoins for ~$489 million in cash at an average price of ~$37,617 per bitcoin. As of 6/21/21 we hodl ~105,085 bitcoins acquired for ~$2.741 billion at an average price of ~$26,080 per bitcoin.”

MicroStrategy has set a precedent in the institutional investment space because its BTC holding is one of the highest.

Previously, Saylor had indicated that the firm was embracing Bitcoin for the long term.

MicroStrategy, therefore, seems to be taking advantage of the current ranging BTC market because it has spent the last two months consolidating between $30,000 and $40,000.

Bitcoin is back at the range low

Bitcoin plunged to lows of $32k amid intensified FUD (fear, uncertainty, and doubt) sentiment from China triggered by a nationwide BTC mining crackdown.

For instance, China’s third-largest bank, the Agricultural Bank of China, issued an announcement prohibiting bitcoin and other cryptocurrency transactions through Agricultural Bank’s banking system.

These restrictions imposed by Chinese banks on cryptocurrencies caused a large-scale sell-off of the Bitcoin bearish side.

Therefore, market analyst Michale van de Poppe noted that Bitcoin was back at the range low, and the leading cryptocurrency needed to hold this area to avoid a further drop to $24k.

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On-chain analyst Ali Martinez echoed these sentiments. He stated:

“On-chain data from IntoTheBlock shows that the most significant support zone underneath Bitcoin sits between $31.7K and $33.5K where roughly 573K addresses bought 487K BTC. Losing this area as support could push BTC to the next critical demand barrier at $23.4K.”

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With retail momentum on the Bitcoin network slowing down amid sinking social sentiment, it remains to be seen whether renewed institutional interest from firms like MicroStrategy will give BTC the much-needed upward momentum.

Image source: Shutterstock

Previously, Saylor had indicated that the firm was embracing Bitcoin for the long term.

Source: https://blockchain.news/news/microstrategy-acquires-extra-13-005-bitcoins-owning-100000-btc

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