Crypto pioneer Justin Sun pays US$4.57 million for lunch with Warren Buffett

Cryptocurrency pioneer Justin Sun submitted the winning bid during a five-day online charity auction on eBay that ended Friday night.
Cryptocurrency pioneer Justin Sun submitted the winning bid during a five-day online charity auction on eBay that ended Friday night.PHOTO: JUSTIN SUN/FACEBOOK

SAN FRANCISCO (REUTERS) - Cryptocurrency pioneer Justin Sun bid a record US$4.57 million (S$6.26 million) to have lunch with billionaire investor Warren Buffett, who famously referred to Bitcoin as "probably rat poison squared."

The 28-year-old Sun, who launched Tron or TRX token in 2017, submitted the winning bid during a five-day online charity auction on eBay that ended Friday night.

Proceeds benefit the Glide Foundation, a charity in San Francisco's Tenderloin district that serves the poor, homeless or those battling substance abuse.

Glide announced the winner in a release on Monday (June 3), with Sun confirming his winning bid on Twitter.

Sun can invite up to seven people to dine with Buffett at the Smith & Wollensky steakhouse in midtown Manhattan.  

“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.”

Buffett, 88, has raised about US$34.2 million for Glide in 20 annual auctions since 2000. His first wife, Susan, who died in 2004, introduced him to Glide after volunteering there.  

Sun, who has a master’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania, launched Tron or TRX token in 2017, and raised about US$70 million in an initial coin offering. He bought San Francisco-based BitTorrent for US$120 million in cash last year.

In Twitter posts, Sun said he plans to invite industry leaders from the blockchain community to dine with Buffett, who he called “a titan of investment. I hope this benefits everyone.”

Buffett has run Berkshire since 1965.  The Omaha, Nebraska-based conglomerate owns more than 90 businesses such as the Geico auto insurer and BNSF railroad, and invests in stocks such as Apple Inc, Coca-Cola Co and Wells Fargo & Co.

At Berkshire’s annual meeting last month, Buffett likened wagering on bitcoin to betting on zero or double-zero on a Las Vegas roulette wheel. “I have to say, bitcoin has rejuvenated that feeling in me,” Buffett said.