Ray Dalio Calls Bitcoin a Bubble But Price Stays Steady

As Bitcoin recovers $1,000 in less than four days, another institutional giant is voicing his doubts about the volatile cryptocurrency.

In a Tuesday interview with CNBC, the founder of the world’s largest hedge fund, Ray Dalio, dubbed the cryptocurrency “a bubble.”

“Bitcoin today, you can’t make much transactions of int. You can’t spend it very easily,” Dalio said on CNBC as bitcoin traded up by about 33% from four days earlier, at $4,000. “It’s a shame. It could be a currency. It could work conceptually, but the amount of speculation that is going on and the lack of transactions [hurts it].”

Though bearish on Bitcoin, Dalio’s comments were less aggressive than those of J.P. Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon’s from a week earlier. At a Barclays conference earlier this month, the banking executive dubbed Bitcoin a “fraud” that will “blow up.” Coinciding with a crackdown on cryptocurrency in China, Dimon’s remarks help push Bitcoin from its all-time high of around $5,000 to just under $3,000.

Dalio’s comments however reflect concerns that Bitcoin’s price has created something of a feedback loop reinforcing speculation — and preventing the cryptocurrency from becoming a mainstream form of payment. In July, Morgan Stanley analysts noted that fewer online merchants appeared to be accepting bitcoin, likely because the bitcoin holders weren’t spending their bitcoins. Instead, holders were storing the cryptocurrency in hopes of catching, or perhaps in fear of missing out on, Bitcoin’s next boom.

The hedge fund titan again in the CNBC interview reiterated that gold, currently trading at about $1,309 an ounce, was a better area of investment in times of volatility. In a LinkedIn post, Dalio suggested investors allocate 5% to 10% of their assets to gold amid political risk.

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