Who is the Young Chinese Man That Paid $4.57 Million for Lunch with Warren Buffett?
Cryptocurrency entrepreneur Justin Sun bid a record $4.57 million for lunch with the legendary American investor Warren Buffet.
While Warren Buffett once called bitcoin “probably rat poison squared,” he’ll now have to dine with one of the cryptocurrency’s biggest fans. By the winning auction, Sun can invite up to seven people to dine with Buffet at the famous Smith & Wollensky steakhouse.
The bid money will go to the Glide foundation, a San Fransisco community that serves the poor, homeless, and those battling substance abuse. According to Reuters, Warren Buffet has raised about $34.2 million for Glide in 20 annual auctions since 2000.
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“I’m delighted with the fact that Justin has won the lunch and am looking forward to meeting him and his friends,” Buffett said in a statement provided by his assistant. “We are going to have a good time and Glide will use his contribution to help many thousands of people.”
So who is this Chinese guy that paid $4.57 million to have lunch with Warren Buffet? Actually, there are a lot of stories already covered by Chinese media, since Justin Sun is known for “self-promotion” in China.
Before entering the crypto industry, Sun got his master’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania after graduating from Peking University. Self-identified as a businessman, he has the famous quote: “My standard for judging people is to see how much you earn.”
During his time at UPenn, Sun joined the Pennsylvania Investment Association. Fortunately, he has a a track record of successful investments, first more than quadrupling his investment in Tesla stock, and then gaining more than a 20x return by investing in Bitcoin. In his own words, he basically achieved financial independence.
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Though “financially independent”, Sun still chose to return to China. In an interview, he said: “Chinese students in the U.S. are marginalized after all and you can never get into the core of it. Only when I return home can I win.”
At first, Sun Yuchen returned to China as chief representative of Ripple Labs, an Internet finance company based in Silicon Valley. Later, he succeeded in securing a round of IDG investment for his company Raybo Technologies.
Sun delivered speeches everywhere, sensitively grasping the label of “post-90s entrepreneurs”. Sun was also selected as one of the first incoming class of Jack Ma’s “Hupan University”.
In 2017, digital currency ICO has become a hot spot for entrepreneurship, and major investment institutions were striving to enter the field of digital currency. Sun started a new round of entrepreneurship, creating “Tron”, an open source global digital entertainment protocol based on blockchain.
Released on one of the world’s largest blockchain asset trading platforms, it took only 53 seconds to sell 500 million TRX, Tron’s official token.
However, at the end of August, the National Internet Finance Association of China issued a warning on “Preventing various types of ICO-related risks”. On September 4th, in the “Announcement on Preventing the Risk of Subsidy Issuance Financing”, China stopped all kinds of ICO activities, requiring stricter clarification for ICO related items and transactions.
Under strong pressure, Sun returned tens of thousands of bitcoins raised by ICO to investors. This also resulted in him controlling 90% of all TRX coins in circulation.
But Sun experienced another stroke of luck. After September 4th, the market for crypto currency experienced a phase of crazy growth. In just three months, TRX coins rose from 0.01 yuan to a peak of 1.87 yuan. The price of the currency meant that the total issued market value reached 187 billion yuan, 90% of which belongs to Sun.
With the news of his massive windfall coming out, there was a lot of noise on Chinese social media saying Sun is a professional “fraud” or “imposter”. Will Sun’s pitch be enough to change the mind of Warren Buffet, who thinks bitcoin “attracts charlatans”?
Featured photo via Twitter @justinsuntron