Crypto Promoter Justin Sun Postpones Charity Lunch With Warren Buffett

Cryptocurrency investor Justin Sun, who paid a record $4.6 million in a charity auction to have lunch with Warren Buffett, abruptly postponed his meeting with the billionaire investor this week, citing a health condition.

A foundation backed by the Chinese citizen tweeted that Mr. Sun had fallen ill with kidney stones, and was putting off a July 25 lunch with Mr. Buffett in San Francisco. It said both parties have agreed to reschedule the meeting.

Mr. Sun, who is in his late 20s, founded a cryptocurrency platform called Tron and is the chief executive of file-sharing service BitTorrent. He intended to have several prominent figures in the cryptocurrency industry join him at Thursday’s lunch with Mr. Buffett, the 88-year-old chairman of

Berkshire Hathaway
Inc.

and a cryptocurrency skeptic.

Just hours before the postponement, Mr. Sun was tweeting invites to individuals to join the charity lunch. “3 days to go and more friends to be announced!” said one of his tweets.

Mr. Sun didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

On Tuesday, Mr. Sun denied a report by a Chinese media outlet that accused him of engaging in illegal activities within China. He wrote on his Weibo social-media account that rumors of illegal fundraising circulating on the internet weren’t true, and said Tron wasn’t engaged in money laundering and other illicit behavior.

Tron, the world’s 11th largest cryptocurrency by market value, fell 16% on Tuesday, according to data provider CoinMarketCap.

During the bitcoin frenzy in 2017, Mr. Sun raised about $70 million in an initial coin offering. At its peak in January 2018, Tron’s tokens outstanding were valued at about $17 billion. Currently, they are valued at $1.6 billion.

Mr. Sun had he wanted to meet Mr. Buffett and educate him about cryptocurrencies.

“We know he’s not a proponent but what we want to do is to share with him the spirit of crypto and the progress that we have made,” Mr. Sun said at a conference in Taiwan earlier this month. He said intended to give Mr. Buffett a smartphone that had cryptocurrencies loaded on it. “We want him to own his own bitcoin or litecoin,” Mr. Sun said.

Mr. Buffett, whose Berkshire Hathaway conglomerate owns insurers and stakes in many industrial companies, has repeatedly criticized bitcoin, the world’s most popular cryptocurrency.

“Blockchain is important. But bitcoin has no unique value at all,” Mr. Buffett said on CNBC in February. “It doesn’t produce anything. You can stare at it all day, and no little bitcoins come out or anything like that. It’s a delusion, basically.”

Write to Steven Russolillo at steven.russolillo@wsj.com

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