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Billionaire Ray Dalio likes Bitcoin but would choose gold every time

Hedge fund manager Ray Dalio says he’s still bullish on Bitcoin (BTC) but has a greater penchant for gold.

Speaking to CNBC on Wednesday, the billionaire investor admitted to owning a “very small amount” of Bitcoin but said that he would choose gold if he had to make the choice between the two.

“If you put a gun to my head, and you said, ‘I can only have one.’ I would choose gold.”

But he added that he sees Bitcoin as digital gold and that it remains an important way to diversify. “There are certain assets that you want to own to diversify the portfolio, and Bitcoin is something like a digital gold,” he said.

Dalio has been a long-term gold bull, with his Bridgewater hedge fund having poured more than $400 million into gold in the second quarter of last year. In 2019, he wrote that adding gold can help balance a portfolio because it is both risk-reducing and return-enhancing.

The store of value properties makes it attractive to Dalio, who considers it a natural hedge against inflation. Central banks currently hold more than 35,000 metric tons of gold, which equates to about a fifth of all gold ever mined.

Dalio has previously warned about possible regulation of crypto assets and even a potential ban in the United States just as it did with gold ownership in the 1930s. In Dalio’s mind, there is “a reasonable chance” that Bitcoin could eventually be outlawed by the federal government.

He remains cautious about Bitcoin but still wants it in his portfolio for diversification purposes, adding, “By and large, I don’t really know whether Bitcoin is going to go up or down. I could argue both sides of that.”

In May, he stated that he would prefer to purchase BTC over bonds during an interview at the Consensus crypto conference.

Related: Ray Dalio does 180 on Bitcoin, calls it ‘one hell of an invention’

At the time of writing, gold is trading at $1,810 per ounce, having lost 4.4% since the beginning of the year. Bitcoin, conversely, is up 36% over the same period, trading at $39,360, according to CoinGecko.

Another billionaire musing on Bitcoin in recent days is venture capitalist Marc Andreessen. In a new interview with Bloomberg on Tuesday, the co-founder of Andreessen Horowitz said BTC was “one of the most amazing things I’ve ever seen” and a “fundamental technological breakthrough.”

However, the report suggested he was more enthusiastic about the decentralized system upon which it is built. He said “many of the smartest people in computer science are going into this field,” adding that it represented “a new kind of financial system” where people are “able to form trust relationships in an untrusted environment.”

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