HSBC ‘cautiously’ looking into crypto use cases

HSBC is “cautiously” looking into how it can utilise blockchain technology, according to its head of digital, but doesn’t yet believe Bitcoin is a genuine investment opportunity.

This interest in crypto and blockchain doesn’t come as a particular surprise given the bank’s decision to join a blockchain-based trade finance platform earlier this year.

Josh Bottomley, HSBC global head of digital, told Forbes: “We are cautious[ly] looking into this area. There’s a use case when you have a token or currency that’s actually useful for a particular purpose, and it serves that need.”

On whether Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are a good investment for banking institutions like HSBC, he added: “We don’t broadly believe that’s the case now, but it might change.

“One of the criteria we use is if an asset class is showing incredible volatility up and down. For the vast majority of our customers, that makes it an inappropriate saving or investment vehicle.”

Despite these statements from Bottomley, Forbes also reached out to the bank and were told by a spokesperson: “HSBC does not trade cryptocurrencies nor do we process payments denominated in virtual or cryptocurrencies.”

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