A number of reasons have caused the emergence of digital currencies; first, cross-border payments have been a major cause of concern since time immemorial. Having the means to hedge national currencies has been the desire of most investors and large fund holders. Gold has been the most revered option for hedging the dollar due to its scarcity and ability to retain value. Still, the emergence of digital currencies means gold has a new rival, and this new asset can be used as an investment vehicle and a store of value. The coronavirus has led many traditional investors and those opposed to cryptocurrencies to run into digital tokens to hedge the seemingly indefinite spending by the government on stimulus checks and funds to revive the economy.
Elon Musk's acceptance of bitcoin as a payment means on his electric car company, Tesla, made him a crypto billionaire. Before he announced that his company would stop accepting bitcoin, both institutional and retail investors were drawn by the allure of having an influential figure backing the growth of crypto tokens. Elon is not the first crypto billionaire to have a stake in cryptocurrencies; Bill Gates had some unknown amount of investments in Bitcoin, and the billionaire we will be focusing on in this article, Ray Dalio, recently announced that he has some Bitcoin tokens and Ether money.
Ray Dalio is a popular figure in the traditional investment space. His investment fund, Bridgewater Associates, has been a favorite for institutional investors, NGOs, and even central banks of many countries. Being a respected figure, he was highly revered when he spoke harshly against Bitcoin and digital currencies in general in the early weeks of 2021. The only similarities between what he said in the first post in the early weeks of 2021 and the recent interview with him are that
1. Bitcoin can be used as a hedge against inflation, and the dollar's depreciating value might be a good reason why many investors are rushing into digital currencies to save the value of the assets.
2. Bitcoin's greatest risk is itself. The more it grows, the more it interferes with nations' economics. No government will want to have its control over its finance and economics diminishing. Seeing what happened to gold in the 18th century and what has happened with companies tagged "too big to fail," it is very likely the US government will come for Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies in general.
Despite these comments and the regulatory risk he highlighted, Ray Dalio opened up on owning some Bitcoins and Ether money. While he didn't disclose the amount of Bitcoin and Ethereum he held, Ray Dalio expressed his surprise that the programming language of Bitcoin has remained solid over the years. It has never been hacked, nor does it show loopholes and vulnerabilities. While the news didn't break the crypto news headlines, it is a testament to the fact that ease of buying cryptocurrencies on many centralized exchanges like Redot.com and Binance; and on decentralized exchanges like Uniswap and PancakeSwap have made more ethereum owners than many statistics can cover.
Ray Dalio is not the only investor skeptical of the regulatory risk around bitcoin, as low-interest-yielding bonds have been relegated to the background of investing. He admitted, though, that the risk is worth taking compared to the non-transitory inflation surrounding the US economy. The Feds have announced that some strict measures will be put in place to curb the flow of the dollar, and this tapering should ultimately suggest the rise of another bull run for cryptocurrencies.
Ethereum's new progress report on the ETH 2.0
Though Ray Dalio's support for digital currencies has been made known, the Ethereum owner will be well aware of the Ethereum 2.0, a move by Ethereum to the proof-of-stake consensus. This move is a much bullish signal for Etherum as a protocol and as an ecosystem, as it solves most, if not all, of ethereum's current issues. The ethereum news for most of 2020 surrounded Ethereum's progress from the proof-of-work to the proof-of-stake, including its roadblocks, roadmaps, and staking processes.
Environmental issues and network congestion have plagued the network both internally and externally, and it only makes sense to reduce the transaction fees by 99% to accommodate more retail investors and put paid to the threatening influence of Ethereum killers. The Ethereum 2.0 project is moving reasonably well and is expected to be concluded by the second half of 2022. Pending the time it is concluded, the network opened the ground for validators to improve the integrity of the network via total value locked. The initial fear revolved around validators not wanting to be a part of the project as it would reduce and ultimately erode the share of miners. Still, the project went as planned after over 20,000 validators approved the genesis epoch on the Beacon chain. There are a little over 87,000 epochs now, and https://redot.com/eth2/
is where you can see more details on wallets, transactions, and active validators.
The call for Stakers was made, and the minimum fee was set at 32 Eth. over 276,000 users are currently on the network. A lot more people are willing to add to the 8.8 million staked Ether, and Ethereum explorers
like redot's are giving stakers a chance to stake with at least 0.01 Eth by having staking pools.