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Dalio’s Bridgewater reportedly backing a crypto fund means the world’s largest hedge fund and one of Bitcoin’s former skeptics is taking it seriously

BY TAYLOR LOCKE  March 22, 2022

The world’s largest hedge fund is getting into cryptocurrency.

Ray Dalio’s Bridgewater Associates is planning to back an external fund dedicated to crypto, two sources confirmed to CoinDesk.  

Bridgewater Associates doesn’t intend to directly invest in crypto itself yet, but do so by backing an “external vehicle” instead. Its investment is “minuscule” compared to its total $150 billion in assets under management, CoinDesk wrote. 

Bridgewater Associates did not immediately respond to Fortune’s request for comment.

But, it’s a big deal that a hedge fund of this size is taking the digital asset class seriously. It joins other mainstream hedge funds, like Brevan Howard Asset Management and Tudor Investment Corp, along with crypto hedge funds, which have poured billions of dollars into the space

And it’s even more interesting that Bridgewater is a hedge fund run by a man who has been a crypto skeptic in the past. 

Though Dalio confirmed in May that he personally owns Bitcoin, he has previously said that it’s “too volatile.” He also has expressed concern over the potential for the government banning it and its use in ransomware attacks.

“There are two purposes of money: A medium of exchange and a storeholder of wealth. And Bitcoin is not effective in either of those cases now,” Dalio said in 2020 at the World Economic Forum in Davos

More recently, in December, Dalio reiterated his concerns over regulation.

“If it is a threat to governments, it will probably be outlawed in some places when it becomes relatively attractive,” Dalio told MarketWatch in December. 

In January, he also mentioned the use of cryptocurrencies with malware and ransomware.

“You’re seeing much more malware. You’re seeing much more ransomware. In other words, breaking in and then looking for a payment, quite often that’s in Bitcoin,” Dalio said on a January episode of the We Study Billionaires podcast. The “digital component is a risk for our society and could be a risk for operating that way.”

But he seems to have changed his mind since then—and despite his skepticism, Dalio has noted that Bitcoin earned his respect.

“It has been an amazing accomplishment for Bitcoin to have achieved what it has done, not being hacked, having it work and having it adopted the way it has been,” he told MarketWatch in December. 

“I believe in the blockchain technology. … It has earned credibility.”