Bridgewater Associates is preparing to back its first crypto fund.
The world’s largest hedge fund is planning to back an external vehicle, two people told CoinDesk. It has no current intention of directly investing in crypto assets itself, one of the sources said.
It’s the clearest signal to date that the world’s largest hedge fund, currently with $150 billion in assets under management (AUM), is taking crypto seriously as an asset class – aside from founder Ray Dalio’s announcement in May 2021 of a personal investment in bitcoin (BTC).
That said, the size of Bridgewater’s investment is minuscule compared to its total AUM, one of the sources said, and other prominent crypto investors are in talks to invest in the fund.
When reached last month by CoinDesk, a Bridgewater spokesperson said the firm did not currently have plans to invest in cryptocurrencies – despite four people saying the hedge fund giant was due to enter the space by mid-2022.
“While we won’t comment on our positions, we can say Bridgewater continues to actively research crypto but is not currently planning on investing in crypto,” a Bridgewater representative told CoinDesk via email on Feb. 22. Bridgewater issued a report on institutional crypto trends in January.
The spokesperson did not provide a response to a request for comment sent Monday.
Connecticut-based Bridgewater was founded in 1975 by Harvard Business School graduate Dalio from his Manhattan apartment. Something of a talismanic figure in the world of investing, he has been public about personally holding bitcoin, referring to it as “one hell of an invention.”
Bridgewater is plotting a similar path to London-based hedge fund Marshall Wace, which was reported to be standing up a crypto fund, along the same lines as Point72 and Brevan Howard.
Some sources were light on details about the tie-up but the people CoinDesk spoke with agreed on a rough timeline for Bridgewater’s crypto debut.
“Bridgewater is in a first-half plan this year,” said one of the people in February. “They’re planning on having a small slug of their fund deployed directly into digital assets.”
Another person familiar with the hedge fund’s crypto trading plans said: “Bridgewater is looking to get involved. They are doing serious diligence: liquidity, service providers and whatnot.”
Zack Seward contributed reporting.