Ray Dalio, the billionaire founder of hedge fund Bridgewater, identified himself as a holder of bitcoin in a conversation at Consensus 2021 on Monday morning.
Speaking to Coindesk's Michael Casey, Dalio claimed that we are witnessing a shift away from the dollar as the global reserve currency, a competition in which bitcoin and other digital assets play a major role. "Probably the greatest power that a government has is over its currency and to control where money and credit go," he said.
Referring to the succession of recent global currencies and the Federal Reserve's massive quantitative easing over the last year, Dalio said "It's a great power to be able to print the world's currency but it happens just like the British pound happened or like the Dutch guilder happened."
Much of Dalio's commentary focused on the rise of China's capital markets and trade eminence relative to the U.S. On the subject of bitcoin's importance, he said it would face more regulatory blowback the more the market grows. "I think bitcoin's greatest risk is its success," said Dalio, continuing that it would scare bond-issuing governments "the more we say 'I'd rather have bitcoin than the bond.'"
Dalio went on to confirm his own bitcoin holdings. "I have some bitcoin," he said.
In earlier public statements, Dalio spotlighted problems with bitcoin as a payment mechanism. Today, he was fairly positive on its role as a store of wealth but did not backtrack on those earlier sentiments. He did, however, seem to view China's development of a central bank digital currency as a major concern for the dollar's use internationally. "There's a real economy and there's a financial economy, and we shouldn't confuse those things."