On Thursday, the famously crypto-sceptical Warren Buffett was due to lunch with a bunch of crypto bros. That’s because, as you may remember, 29-year-old Justin Sun, founder of the TRON crypto-token (which raised $70m in an ICO in 2017) and CEO of BitTorrent, won the annual charity auction to have a lunch with the Oracle of Omaha. His winning bid was over $4.5m.
Sun had been hoping he was going to school the CEO of Berkshire Hathaway on crypto. He’d even invited Donald Trump to join the party, after the president tweeted that he was “not a fan” of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
But as of Monday, it seems the party is off — for the time being at least. Mr Sun can no longer make it, because he’s apparently suddenly come down with a spot of the old kidney stones. Ouch.
From the official TRON Twitter feed late on Monday:
It appears the TRON bros weren’t that convinced about the kidney stones. Or if they were, took them as a bearish signal. At pixel time, TRON is down 16 per cent since the announcement (screenshot from Coinbase; red circle helpfully showing the time of the tweet from us):
Sun invited a number of industry heavyweights to the lunch but not everyone was so keen to come to the party. Ethereum creator Vitalik Buterin, for example, didn’t make any kind of public response to Sun’s invitation, while Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao said he couldn’t make it because the lunch — which was set to take place in Silicon Valley, in a change from the normal New York steakhouse — was “too far”.
That had invited criticism from cryptoland that Sun’s promise to bring “#blockchain industry leaders” hadn’t come to fruition, with crypto podcast host Peter McCormack calling the number of people who’d declined the invitation “quite impressive”, according to Cryptoslate.
So maybe the kidney stones were brought on by worries about the quality of the guest list? Or, perhaps, they were brought on by worries about getting out of the country. According to various people on Twitter, Weibo reported that Sun had been issued an exit ban by Chinese authorities just before the kidney stones announcement:
We have contacted TRON for confirmation of these rumours and will update the story if and when we get it.
A crypto Buffett lunch is on the cards. Poor Warren Buffett — FT Alphaville
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