HSBC says bye-bye to Bitcoin hedge fund Global Advisors
by Jessica Morris
HSBC will no longer work with the first regulated Bitcoin investment fund amid concerns about “money laundering risk”. Hedge fund Global Advisors (GA), which is based on the island of Jersey, told the BBC that the British bank had ended the working relationship. Daniel Masters, founder of GA, said that the move will jeopardise plans to make Jersey a global centre for the cryptocurrency. The island’s Treasury Minister, Senator Philip Ozouf, has previously said he wants it to be an early leader in the emergence of the digital currency. A spokesman for HSBC told the BBC: “We do not discuss individual customers, nor do we confirm whether an individual or business is, or has been a customer. In reviewing our portfolio, we have identified a number of relationships that don’t meet our strategic criteria. We don’t take the commercial decision to end a customer relationship lightly, and when we do so it follows careful consideration of that relationship in light of our strategic focus or global risk management standards.” Bitcoin is a digital currency with a code that changes data into an unreadable format, making any transactions anonymous. However, this feature has courted controversy, with some saying its lack of regulation makes it an ideal tool for online criminals. Regulated Bitcoin funds allow big investors such as pension funds and insurance companies to speculate on Bitcoin, as they attempt to grow the money they look after on behalf of their customers.