Born in 1990, Justin Sun is the founder and CEO of the Tron Foundation, the company behind the Tron blockchain. He is also the CEO of BitTorrent Inc. which he acquired in 2018.
Sun was previously a representative and advisor for payments protocol company Ripple Labs in China, and also founded Callme, or Peiwo, a Chinese live voice streaming app, for which he was mentioned in Forbes 30 under 30 in 2017.
Sun founded the Tron Foundation in Singapore in 2017 with the aim of creating a protocol that could “decentralize the internet” and support decentralized applications. Beginning on Ethereum, it migrated onto its own blockchain in 2018. Sun has now directly positioned Tron as a competitor to Ethereum.
Sun and the Tron Foundation were accused of plagiarizing other projects for the Tron white paper and failing to properly attribute code in the project’s code repository in 2018, however, Sun has disputed the allegations.
In 2018, Sun acquired BitTorrent, which developed the peer-to-peer file sharing system of the same name. After the acquisition, Sun assumed the title of CEO. The Tron Foundation subsequently revealed Project Atlas, a new iteration of the BitTorrent protocol with a BitTorrent token (BTT), designed to better-incentivize users to share files with other users.
In 2019, Tron and Tether announced a partnership to launch USDT on the Tron blockchain as a TRC-20 token – the protocol’s equivalent of a ERC-20 – with the aim of improving liquidity on decentralized exchanges.
In 2019, Justin Sun paid $4.5 million to have lunch with legendary investor and crypto-skeptic, Warren Buffet, as part of an annual charity auction for the Glide Foundation. After a six-month hiatus, the dinner finally took place in February 2020.
Controversially, in 2020, the Tron Foundation acquired Steemit – the most prominent dapp on the Steem blockchain. In March, members of the Steem community, who saw the acquisition as a hostile takeover, forked the network to create HIVE, a near-exact replica except that tokens linked to Justin Sun and Tron were immediately confiscated.
In May, the Tron-side retaliated by forking Steem again and confiscating tokens belonging to 64 people involved in setting up HIVE.