Recently on June 3rd, Tron’s CEO Justin Sun announced that he had won an eBay charity auction to have lunch with renowned investor and Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett. The auction had been held by Warren Buffett for the past 20 years and Sun reportedly bid a record-breaking $4,567,888 to secure the winning bid.
The entire proceeds from the auction go to the San Francisco-based non-profit GLIDE foundation, which focuses on fighting injustice and inequality on behalf of economically deprived and oppressed communities in need, including the homeless, those from ethnic minorities or of LGBTQ orientation.
Sun’s press release notes that:
“BitTorrent and TRON’s US headquarters are in San Francisco, and bidding on this charity auction was a key priority for our team. I’m proud to have my bid donated to GLIDE, a foundation that provides critical support for our local homeless community.”
Buffett’s stance on cryptocurrencies
What makes this event all the more interesting is the fact that Buffett has openly stated that he sees no “unique value” in Bitcoin, the World’s largest cryptocurrency. However, Sun mentioned that “Yet, he has pointed to the potential in blockchain, the underlying technology behind all cryptocurrency. I look at the upcoming lunch with Buffett as an opportunity to seek mutual understanding and growth.” Sun also mentioned in an Open Letter on Tron’s Medium Page that he is a long-term believer of Buffett and his long-term value investing strategy. Hence, the outcome of the meeting is highly anticipated to either be of Sun successfully convincing Buffett of the unique value of several cryptocurrencies or that of further skepticism from the latter’s side.
Yet, Buffett’s assistant provided this statement from his end, “I’m delighted with the fact that Justin has won the lunch and am looking forward to meeting him and his friends. We are going to have a good time and Glide will use his contribution to help many thousands of people.”
In Twitter posts, Sun said that he plans to invite industry leaders from the blockchain community to dine with Buffett, who he called “a titan of investment”. Changpeng Zhao, the CEO of Binance, declined Justin Sun’s invitation for the charity lunch with Buffett. A little known fact is that the charity auction winner can take up to 7 people along with himself. Alluding to Buffett’s earlier remark comparing Bitcoin to “rat poison squared”, he tweeted that Buffet would be eating a lunch funded by “rat poison” after all.
This was quite a strong statement to make against investment mogul Warren Buffett but he faced a lot of support in subsequent Twitter retweets and comments for his decision. Many skeptics also mentioned how Buffett had previously regarded Amazon as an internet bubble and been wrong on similar lost opportunities. Hence, they implied that Buffett may also be gravely wrong with his predictions and estimations of Bitcoin and the cryptocurrency industry.
A Marketing Gimmick?
Some others were quick to point that this may have well been a marketing gimmick for Tron. The graph below shows how google searches skyrocketted for ‘Justin Sun’ (the blue line) and ‘cryptocurrency’ (the red line) shortly after the announcement.
Meltem Demirors also shared similar thoughts in her tweet that applauded the bid as a smart move within the blockchain marketing game.
Furthermore, news of the lunch with Warren Buffett allegedly managed to pump the market cap of TRX by 20%, or roughly $500M. Hence, many explicitly stated on Twitter to highlight how the ROI of the $5M upfront investment may have been a financially smart move too.
The lunch will be held at Smith & Wollensky steakhouse in New York and the $4.6 million paid by Sun may well prove to be a smart investment for the entire cryptocurrency community.
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