Power Move Before Power Lunch: Tron CEO Switches Venue for Buffett Meeting

For the first time in 15 years, the annual Buffett luncheon is switching venues.

Jun 12, 2019 at 6:30 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 1:52 p.m. UTC

Tron CEO Justin Sun is moving his $4.6 million lunch date with Warren Buffett to “the heartland of tech" aka Silicon Valley. This is the first time since the annual “power lunch” tradition started in 2000 that the meal will take place in San Francisco.

“We want this lunch to be a bridge between the cryptocurrency community and the traditional investor,” Sun said to Yahoo Finance on Monday, who is trying to draw Buffett out of his comfort zone.

Indeed, the traditional investor is as conservative in taste as in investments.

Smith & Wollensky steakhouse in New York City has hosted the Buffett luncheons since 2004, where the Oracle of Omaha reportedly orders the same medium-rare steak with hash browns and a cherry coke, according to an interview with CNBC.

“It might be unrealistic to convince Warren Buffett, in just three hours, to buy cryptocurrencies,” said Sun. “But we want to show him the recent progress of cryptocurrency and blockchain technology. It’s not only about Tron itself, it’s about crypto and blockchain, the whole industry.”

Though Buffett has expressed doubts about cryptocurrency in the past – most recently calling it “a gambling device” at his annual shareholders’ convention – he told Bloomberg that “I’m delighted with the fact that Justin has won the lunch and am looking forward to meeting him and his friends.”

Sun previously said he will invite seven crypto industry leaders to the event.

The meeting will take place at an undisclosed restaurant in the Bay Area on July 25. In years past, Smith & Wollensky has donated $10,000 to Glide, the anti-poverty charity the auction is set up to benefit.

Sun committed to donating an additional $100,000 to Glide, which directs its efforts to homelessness in the Bay Area.

Sun told Yahoo Finance the lunch was bought with ad revenue from BitTorrent, the file streaming service that Tron bought last July. Originally billed as a blockchain platform for the entertainment industry, Tron’s cryptocurrency Tronix (TRX) is mostly used for sports gambling. It is the 12th largest coin by market capitalization.

In addition to running the Tron Foundation, Sun is CEO of Peiwo, a Chinese social platform built around voice recognition. He was also an early investor in Tesla, another company Buffett bet against.

Tron CEO Justin Sun, photo by Brady Dale for CoinDesk

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