Billionaire investor Ray Dalio thinks governments could decide to ban Bitcoin

Ahead of the release of his upcoming book “The Changing World Order”, billionaire investor Ray Dalio sat down with Andy Serwer in an episode of “Influencers with Andy Serwer”. 

Dalio, who is the founder of the $150 billion hedge fund Bridgewater Associates said there could be a possibility that bitcoin could be banned, similar to when the U.S. government put a ban on the private ownership of gold with the enforcement of the Gold Reserve Act in 1934

The Gold Reserve Act of 1934 prohibited individuals to own gold “because government leaders didn’t want gold to compete with money and credit as a storehold of wealth.”

Although debate still goes on as to whether Bitcoin is a store of value, digital gold or a currency. Regardless of the specific view on its function, there seems consensus among Bitcoin advocates that the cryptocurrency can provide a real peer-to-peer alternative to government-controlled fiat currencies.

Against a backdrop of high debt, low interest rates with the money printing machine turned into high gears, investors are looking for alternatives and turn to Bitcoin.

Considering that governments are not enthusiastic about a competitor to their currency and more importantly the control (on the population) it can exert, Dalio believes there is a possibility for Bitcoin to see the same faith as gold in the early twentieth century.

Dalio said:

“Every country treasures its monopoly on controlling the supply and demand. They don’t want other monies to be operating or competing, because things can get out of control. So I think that it would be very likely that you will have it under a certain set of circumstances outlawed the way gold was outlawed.”

Pointing to developments in India where its government is rumoured to ban Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, Dalio said “[We] have to see what that means.”

While emphasizing that he is not an expert on blockchain technology, Dalio does raise some concerns on matter of privacy that Bitcoin holds so dear:

“Now, can they do it? Yeah. Now we get into the particulars. My understanding from people who are sort of in government surveillance is yes, they can understand they can track it. They can know who’s dealing with it. I don’t know, like, I’m not an expert on that. But, you know, there’s a whole way, is it private wallets? Is it not private wallets? How do you do this, this, and the other thing? I would suspect it would be very hard to hold up against that kind of action.”

While this all might look as a dark future ahead of us, he put everything in respect and did not lose touch with the current realities and proven track record of the cryptocurrency, by saying:

“Bitcoin has proven itself over the last 10 years. It hasn’t been hacked. It’s by and large, therefore, worked on an operational basis. It has built a significant following. It is an alternative, in a sense, storehold of wealth. It’s like a digital cash. And those are the pluses.”

As was expected, Dalio’s remarks did cause some immediate stir on social media and former White House Communications Director, Anthony Scaramucci immediately responded that Bitcoin can’t be banned. “You can’t “ban” #bitcoin”, Scaramucci tweeted.

One thing is clear. Dalio does not have to worry about a lack of publicity for his book.

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