Cryptocurrency pioneer and founder of Tron cryptocurrency, Justin Sun bid a record $4.56 million to have lunch with Warren Buffett, who famously referred to Bitcoin as “probably rat poison squared.” Buffett and his longtime business partner Charles Munger have criticized cryptocurrencies in the past. The 95-year-old Munger called Bitcoin a “noxious poison.” Buffett, who says there’s no value being produced from the asset, at least gave a nod to blockchain technology as “important” in an interview earlier this year.
The high-priced lunch is part of an annual auction to raise money for the Glide Foundation, a San Francisco-based charity which Mr. Buffet’s late wife Susan supported. Glide provides meals for the city’s homeless, offers support to domestic violence victims, and helps people find shelter. It has raised over $30 million the past years and Mr. Sun’s $4.56m lunch was the highest a bidder has ever paid to spend time with the famed investor. Justin said in a press release “I look at the upcoming lunch with Buffett as an opportunity to seek mutual understanding and growth.” Justin plans to invite several industry leaders to accompany me to New York City for the lunch.
The 28-year-old will meet Buffett at Smith & Wollensky’s in Manhattan. When talking about Buffet sun said, “I’m a long-term believer (and certainly a big fan) of Buffett and his long-term value investing strategy”. He added that he wants to pay Buffett “back for his inspiration.”
Before launching Tron in 2017, with an ICO that raised about $70 million, Sun was an early investor in Tesla and bitcoin while obtaining a Master’s degree at the University of Pennsylvania in 2013. A previous venture, Peiwo, saw Sun step into social media space with a Vine-like app that connects users through 10-second audio samples.
Mr Buffett serves as the chairman of the holding company Berkshire Hathaway, and is thought to be worth over $82 billion, making him the third richest person in the world. In 2018, the billionaire said Berkshire Hathaway would “never have a position” in the trend, saying “cryptocurrency will come to a bad ending.”
Trying to convince Buffet that Bitcoin and cryptocurrency will be the next currency and means of value exchange may be difficult, but Sun has a bigger, and perhaps more attainable goal with this lunch. In a television interview he said, he wants to become a bridge between the world of cryptocurrency and institutional investors. That’s what makes Sun’s record-setting bid look like a smart move. Whether he changes Buffett’s mind or not, the lunch will give Sun the kind of high profile, and greater legitimacy, than he could have gotten any other way, for any amount. Look at it that way, and the almost $4.6 million he’s promised to pay might actually be a bargain.