For a while now, Warren Buffett has been a staunch critic of the cryptocurrency movement. Throughout the past few years, the so-called “Oracle of Omaha” has been quoted as saying that Bitcoin is “rat poison squared” and not much more valuable than a suit button.
So, it came as a huge surprise to everyone when it was revealed that Justin Sun, the chief executive of both Tron and BitTorrent, had managed to secure a lunch date with the billionaire investor, donating over $4.5 million to the Glide Foundation make it happen.
To back him up, Sun is bringing along a number of executives in his circles, those that may be able to persuade the Oracle into thinking that digital assets, or even blockchain, have some value in today’s economy.
A Dream Team
Ever since this lunch was announced, the cryptocurrency space has been struggling with one question: Which seven individual should Sun bring to convince Buffett of the viability of this asset class? While some have made interesting proposals, such as calling on legendary Bitcoin educator Andreas Antonopoulos, the SEC’s Hester Pierce, pro-crypto Congressmen/women, the Tron founder has stuck with his own plan.
After getting denied by Changpeng “CZ” Zhao of Binance, who politely declined an early invitation due to the distance between him (Binance is reported to have offices in Taiwan and Malta) and San Francisco, Sun looked to Charlie Lee. The Litecoin founder accepted in mid-June, and has since been reported to have attended meetings with Sun on the matter of the rendezvous. It won’t be just those two though.
Last Minute Invitations
Last week, Jeremy Allaire, the chief executive of the Goldman Sachs-backed Circle, agreed to an invitation from Sun. Announced via Twitter, the exchange chief intends to help Buffett “understand” more about how “crypto is now a major global policy issue”. Indeed, just over the past few weeks, Donald Trump, Jerome Powell, Steven Mnuchin, a multitude of Congressmen and Congresswomen, and other global leaders have been required to address the growth in cryptocurrency, especially in regards to Libra.
Hi Justin, I would be honored to join you and @WarrenBuffett next week to discuss crypto!! Count me in. Crypto is now a major global policy issue and there is a great deal for Mr Buffet to understand and for us to learn from him as well. https://t.co/PGY8bXQBcZ
— Jeremy Allaire (@jerallaire) July 18, 2019
Allaire’s invitation and acceptance was followed up by similar RSVPs issued to Helen Hai, the head of Binance Charity, and eToro’s Yoni Assia. The two gladly accepted the offers.
As Sun has not seemingly received confirmations from seven, the cryptocurrency proponent may send out a few last-minute invitations in a bid to fill the table. Some probable candidates that are based in or have offices in Silicon Valley could be Coinbase’s chief executive, Jack Dorsey of Twitter and Square, and executives from Ripple Labs.
These guests will be convening in San Francisco on July 25th at Quince Restaurant, a three-Michelin-starred French-Italian establishment located in Jackson Square. Sun wrote in a recent blog post that he chose this restaurant to “represent the traditional and the upstart”, just like how he and Buffett are juxtaposed. It is unclear if this clash of cultures will turn out in Sun’s favor, but he sure is hopeful.
Opinion: Does it Even Matter What Buffett Thinks of Bitcoin?
Presumably, Sun is bringing an entourage with him to convince Buffett that cryptocurrencies have a future, especially in these ever-changing times. But to be honest, I don’t think that what the billionaire investor, born in the midst of the 1930’s Great Depression, has to say about Bitcoin or what have you is entirely relevant.
You see, Buffett has remarked that he only invests in things in his “circle of competence” and that investors should “never listen to people like me“. Buffett, for those unaware, is reported to still own a flip phone. So I ask this question — does Buffett really know what he’s talking about when he calls Bitcoin an asset for charlatans and something with little use?