|Permanent Representative of Grenada to the World Trade Organization|
|Born||July 30, 1990 (age 33)|
Xining, Qinghai, China
|Alma mater||Peking University|
University of Pennsylvania
|Known for||Founder of Tron DAO|
Justin Sun (Chinese: 孙宇晨; pinyin: Sūn Yǔchén; born July 30, 1990) is a Chinese-born Grenadian cryptocurrency entrepreneur and business executive. He is the founder of TRON, a blockchain DAO ecosystem. Sun once served as Permanent Representative of Grenada to the World Trade Organization (WTO) in Geneva.
Sun was born in 1990. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in history from Peking University and a Master of Arts degree in East Asian studies from the University of Pennsylvania.
At University of Pennsylvania Sun became interested in cryptocurrency and invested early in bitcoin. He studied at Jack Ma's Zhejiang Hupan Entrepreneurship Research Center. He became the cover figure of Yazhou Zhoukan in 2011 and a Davos Global Shaper in 2014.
In late 2013, Sun joined Ripple Labs as chief representative and adviser. In 2014, he founded Peiwo, a Chinese voice-based social networking app. He was named CNTV's most noteworthy new entrepreneur in 2015, and was included in Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia list from 2015 to 2017.
Sun founded the blockchain-based operating platform Tron and launched the TRX token in 2017. In September 2017 his company Tron held an initial coin offering (ICO) for the TRX token, a few days before the Chinese government banned ICOs. According to The Verge, Sun was aware of the impending ban, and pushed for the sale to occur before the ban could be announced. Shortly afterwards, Sun left China for the United States. Tron raised about $70 million at its ICO.
In June 2018, Sun acquired the company BitTorrent, Inc (later renamed Rainberry Inc.) for $140 million. The company is best known for developing the BitTorrent protocol. During his tenure leading BitTorrent as CEO, the BitTorrent network launched its own utility token, BTT.
Sun later acquired the crypto exchange Poloniex. The Verge alleged in 2021 that Sun demanded that he should be given personal ownership of misplaced Poloniex customer funds that users accidentally sent to wrong wallet addresses, totalling about 300 bitcoin, despite the objections of Poloniex employees.
Sometime between 2018 and 2020, Sun acquired a Maltese residency card as a result of investing in the country.
In October 2021, Sun participated in a $65 million funding round in Hong Kong-based Animoca, a maker of crypto and blockchain video games such as The Sandbox.
On behalf of non-fungible token (NFT) related projects and funds, he has spent more than $100 million at auction for artworks from Pablo Picasso, Andy Warhol, Alberto Giacometti, and Pak.
Sun was appointed Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Grenada to the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 2021. As a result, Sun phased out of his daily roles at his crypto-related projects such as Tron in order to focus on his diplomatic role at the WTO in Geneva. Sun told Bloomberg he would use his role to advocate cryptocurrency and blockchain technology to countries and promote technology development in Grenada. Sun said the Caribbean has "become a very good place for entrepreneurship" because of its close proximity to the U.S., with less strict regulations regarding cryptocurrency.
In December 2021, Justin Sun retired as a CEO of TRON to become a diplomat for Grenada.
In March 2023, Sun stepped down from his position as Permanent Representative of Grenada to the World Trade Organization.
In March 2023, Sun was sued by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for selling unregistered securities related to the sale and promotion of Tron (TRX) and BitTorrent (BBT) tokens, alleging that Sun had engaged in wash trading in the secondary market for TRX in order to buoy its price. Eight celebrities, including Akon, Ne-Yo, Austin Mahone, Soulja Boy, Lindsay Lohan, Jake Paul and Lil Yachty were charged with promoting these cryptocurrencies without disclosing that they were sponsored, with all those other than Soulja Boy and Mahone settling with the FTC for more $400,000, without admitting or denying the charges. Prior reporting by The Verge also alleged that Tron, at the direction of Sun, had engaged in market manipulation by buying/selling TRX tokens based on non-public internal information.These are allegations and have not been proven in a court of law.
Sun placed the winning $4.6 million bid to have a private meal with Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett in June 2019, before canceling it to widespread surprise. The dinner with Buffett eventually occurred in early 2020. Sun met with Buffett, a critic of cryptocurrency, at the Happy Hollow Club in Omaha, Nebraska, on January 23, 2020. Sun was joined by other cryptocurrency executives, including leaders of Litecoin and eToro. At the dinner, Sun gifted Buffett a phone with bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. The money from the charity auction benefited the Glide Foundation, which Buffett's late wife Susan introduced to Buffett after volunteering there.
In December 2021, Sun won an auction with a bid of $28 million to be the first paying passenger to fly on Blue Origin's New Shepard vehicle in July 2021, but he was not able to fly on the mission due to a scheduling conflict.
Brave New World, 2017
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