Can Chinese entrepreneur Justin Sun change Warren Buffett’s mind on bitcoin? He just paid US$4.57 million for a chance to try over lunch

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  • Buffett once called bitcoin ‘probably rat poison squared’, while Sun, founder of Tron and Peiwo, is one of the cryptocurrency’s biggest fans
  • Money raised from charity auction will go towards the Glide Foundation, which serves the poor, homeless and those battling substance abuse

Warren Buffett once called bitcoin “probably rat poison squared”. He will now have to dine with one of the cryptocurrency’s biggest fans.

Chinese cryptocurrency pioneer Justin Sun revealed on Monday that he bid the record US$4.57 million at a charity auction to have lunch with Buffett, the billionaire chairman of Berkshire Hathaway.

Sun’s winning bid, which the 28-year-old announced on Twitter, was confirmed by the Glide Foundation, whose five-day online auction on eBay ended on Friday night.

Glide is located in San Francisco’s Tenderloin district and serves the poor, homeless and those battling substance abuse.

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.”

Sun in turn said he hopes to educate Buffet on cryptocurrency and the underlying technology, called blockchain.

“It is very common in investment circles that people will change their minds,” the Peking University graduate said in a telephone interview with Bloomberg. “Investment opportunities are best when lots of people are underestimating the technology.”

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.”

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 and is also behind Peiwo, a Snapchat-like app that matches and connects users through a 10-second audio sample.

The hottest cryptocurrency, Tron, reminds investors of bitcoin bubble

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.

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, Coca-Cola 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.

Source: SCMP

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