A profile of Justin Sun, the founder of Tron
The 30-year-old, who is also the CEO of Rainberry, Inc, also has an investment in a mobile social application called Peiwo, which he founded. He is also the CEO of the outfit. He also acquired BitTorrent Inc. in 2018.
Justin is an M.A. holder in East Asia Studies from the University of Pennsylvania and a B.A. holder in History from Peking University.
As Justin was passionate about cryptocurrency, he emerged as the chief representative and adviser of Ripple Labs -a cryptocurrency startup in Greater China at the end of 2013. He received backing from Google Ventures, Andreessen Horowitz, and other blue-chip investors.
His career began when he was chosen by another techpreneur, Jack Ma, at the age of 26 to study at Hunan University. Justin, the only millennial among the first graduates, became the cover figure of Yazhou Zhoukan in 2011 and Davos Global Youth Leaders in 2014.
CNTV later named him the most noteworthy new entrepreneur in 2015. He was among those listed in Forbes China 30 Under 30 from 2015 through 2017.
Sun would later have a lunch with legendary investor and crypto-skeptic Warren Buffett in January 2020. This is following his initial placement of a record-breaking $4.5 million bid to have a private lunch with the Berkshire Hathaway CEO in June 2019. He had to cancel it in 2019 due to widespread surprise over the move before it eventually happened a year later.
To fully execute his plan, which was to convince Buffett about cryptocurrency, he invited eToro founder and CEO Yoni Assia, Litecoin creator Charlie Lee, and other crypto advocates to dine with them.
Unfortunately, he could not convince Buffet after giving him a smartphone loaded with bitcoin and Tron as the crypto-skeptic later said he doesn’t own any cryptocurrencies.
Justin founded his company Peiwo in 2013, intending to become China’s Snapchat, matching and connecting users by analyzing 10-second voice samples and interests. The social media has channels for users who make like-minded friends, with online games, talent shows, and live streaming. So far, it has matched over 4 billion chats to date.
In a bid to decentralize the internet through a protocol, Sun founded the Tron Foundation in Singapore in 2017. The protocol is aimed at supporting decentralized applications, beginning with Ethereum, the second-largest cryptocurrency. Tron later migrated onto its blockchain in 2018, and it is now directly competing with Ethereum.
Meanwhile, Justin got into the news for the wrong reason when he and the Tron Foundation were accused of plagiarizing other projects for the Tron white paper. They were also accused of failing to correctly attribute code in the project’s code repository in 2018. Justin disputed these allegations.
A year later, he acquired BitTorrent, which was languishing for $126 million. With BitTorrent, he developed the same name’s peer-to-peer file sharing system and became the CEO after the acquisition.
This subsequently led to the Tron Foundation to Project Atlas -a new iteration of the BitTorrent protocol with a BitTorrent token (BTT). This was designed to incentivize users better to share files with other users.
Still forging on its goal of using a protocol to decentralize the internet, Tron and Tether partnered to launch USDT on the Tron blockchain as a TRC-20 token. The protocol aimed at improving liquidity on decentralized exchanges was equivalent to an ERC-20.
In a bid to continue its presence in the cryptocurrency market, the Tron Foundation, in a controversial manner, acquired Steemit – the most prominent app on the Steem blockchain in 2020.
This led the Steem community members, who saw the acquisition as a hostile takeover, to forked the network and created HIVE – a near-exact replica. In March of the same year, the tokens linked to Justin and Tron were immediately confiscated.
The controversy continued as the Tron-side retaliated in May by forking Steem again. They succeeded in confiscating tokens belonging to 64 people involved in setting up HIVE.
Apart from the investment above, Sun, during the meme-stock frenzy in January 2021, invested $10 million in GameStop and $1 million in each AMC and the iShares Silver Trust.
By a narrow margin, Sun was the underbidder on the historic $69M auction at Christie’s New York of the Beeple non-fungible token (NFT) collection, Everyday: the First 5000 Days, on March 11, 2021.
As a philanthropist, he successfully won the bids for five NFT pieces out of the eight featured during the NFT Charity Auction at a total price of $229,000. All the proceeds from the April 10, 2021 auction will go to Huobi Charity for Huobi’s philanthropic activities.
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