Have coin, must influence.
Justin Sun, founder of the TRON cryptocurrency network, canceled his much advertised Thursday charity lunch with Warren Buffet last week, but then made an appearance that same evening at a party held for TRON YouTube influencers in San Francisco, according to CoinDesk.
The event was reportedly planned as an afterparty to the lunch and ten YouTube TRON promoters were reportedly flown in to San Francisco for the event.
It was a very eventful week for TRON and Justin Sun.
On Monday, the TRON Foundation tweeted out the cancellation:
TRON Foundation announces postponement of Warren Buffett lunch, press conferences after founder Justin Sun falls ill with kidney stones. Parties agreed to reschedule at a later date. @GLIDEsf @WarrenBuffett
— TRON Foundation (@Tronfoundation) July 22, 2019
Sun paid almost $4.7 million USD in a charity auction for the right to dine with value-investing sage Warren Buffet, who is highly regarded in China.
Sun tirelessly promoted the lunch across English and Chinese media and said he would use the meeting as an opportunity to “preach” the virtues of cryptocurrencies and “blockchain technology” to Buffet, a notorious and persistent crypto detractor.
Sun planned to bring several crypto gliterati to the lunch, including Circle’s Jeremy Allaire, Huobi’s Chris Lee, eToro’s Yoni Assia and Litecoin’s Charlie Lee. He even reportedly tweeted at President Trump regarding the lunch and invited him to join.
On Tuesday, state-associated Chinese media outlet Caixin claimed that Sun was unable to attend lunch with Buffet because he was being detained in China by the authorities.
Sun countered these claims by posting a tweet of himself live-broadcasting from an apartment overlooking the Bay Bridge in San Francisco.
On Wednesday, Caixin responded by writing that it had “confirmed” that Sun’s name has been on a border control list for his suspected involvement with, “illegal fund-raising, money laundering, gambling, gambling.”
Sun also sent out a number of messages Wednesday in which he praised Caixin, Chinese socialism and apologized for his “vulgar” promoting of the lunch with Buffet.
Sun raised $70 million USD in an ICO sale of TRX tokens between August 31st and September 2, 2017. Within weeks, China banned ICOs in its territory.
Sun and partners promised to use the money to build “a decentralized Internet” (“uncensorable” Internet operating from globally dispersed nodes that, in theory, could not be controlled or shut down by any single authority).
Sun and TRON have lately attracted ire in China after victims of one of several TRON copy-cat scams occupied a TRON affiliate office in Beijing and were forcibly removed by police.
Despite the total ban on crypto investing in China, Chinese speculators havestill been accessing ICOs and crypto tokens, and some reportedly lost $30 million USD in one TRON copycat scheme.
Chinese media outlet He Cajing reported in early July that a middle aged woman committed suicide in China after being defrauded in one of the schemes, and that photos of her body circulated on WeChat triggered the protests.
More noise continued to sound in the wake of the Sun’s cancellation of the lunch.
As part of Sun’s quest to legitimize TRON, he purchased BitTorrent last year.
BitTorrent is a file sharing site and company specialized in the breaking up of files for collective storage and streaming, in part so that content controls can be evaded.
This technology allows for “filesharing” or piracy, though the site’s fans and founders are also advocates of freedom of information.
On Thursday, July 25th, BitTorrent founder Bram Cohen published the following eyebrow-raising tweet:
Anybody know if Justin Sun is hard up for cash? He isn't letting the last payment for BitTorrent get out of escrow.
— Bram Cohen (@bramcohen) July 25, 2019
Later in the thread, Cohen also accuses Sun of lying.