Chinese crypto entrepreneur Justin Sun finally meets Warren Buffett for postponed $6m meal

Entrepreneur Justin Sun (third from right) met investor Warren Buffett (third from left) in Omaha, Nebraska.
Entrepreneur Justin Sun (third from right) met investor Warren Buffett (third from left) in Omaha, Nebraska.PHOTO: JUSTINSUNTRON/TWITTER

NEW YORK (BLOOMBERG) - Chinese cryptocurrency entrepreneur Justin Sun finally shared a meal with legendary investor Warren Buffett.

Back in July last year, the 29-year-old postponed a lunch meeting he had won with a record US$4.57 million (S$6.33 million) donation to a Buffett-supported charity, first citing health issues and then issuing a broad apology for touting the plan to dine with one of America's richest people, noting it raised concerns among the authorities.

Instead of lunch in San Francisco, Mr Sun and four other crypto advocates met Mr Buffett on Jan 23 for a more than three-hour dinner that featured steaks and Coca-Cola at the Happy Hollow Club in Omaha, Nebraska. Mr Buffett famously referred to Bitcoin as "probably rat poison squared" in 2018.

"It was really an honour and I am grateful for Mr Buffett's dinner, wisdom and vision," Mr Sun said. "I'll always remember his kindness and support, and will take Mr Buffett's advice and guidance to make Tron a better ecosystem, business with all the partners in the blockchain space and beyond."

Tron is a network and digital token that Mr Sun founded

Mr Buffett's assistant, Ms Debbie Bosanek, said the pair had an "interesting and enjoyable discussion" at the dinner.

Mr Sun's guests were Mr Charlie Lee, founder of the Litecoin Foundation; Mr Chris Lee, chief financial officer of the Chinese exchange Huobi; Mr Yoni Assia, chief executive of the trading platform eToro; and Ms Helen Hai, head of Binance Charity Foundation.

CRYPTO PHONE

Among a slew of gifts, Mr Sun presented Mr Buffett with a Samsung phone loaded with one Bitcoin and a number of Tron TRX coins that corresponded with the 89-year-old's birthday.

After the dinner, Mr Sun is considering joining the Giving Pledge with Mr Buffett and Microsoft Corp co-founder Bill Gates to donate the bulk of his fortune to charity, according to Mr Ryan Dennis, a spokesman for Tron.

"Justin's approach to entrepreneurship, his outlook on investments and business, in general, have evolved since dining with Mr Buffett," Mr Dennis said. "There were many learning opportunities and more details are yet to come."

Mr Sun's earlier postponement came amid a flurry of speculation and articles claiming he was denied an exit visa from China and that his venture and his token faced investigation.

 

Mr Sun used proceeds from an early investment in Bitcoin while in college to create Peiwo, a popular Snapchat-like app that has millions of users in China. He then created Tron and has expanded through acquisitions of companies such as file-sharing service BitTorrent and a stake in the crypto exchange Poloniex.

Tron's token rallied about 11 per cent, according to data from CoinMarketCap.com. It was the biggest gain among the top 38 coins listed by market value.