Justin Sun has been busy inviting people to his $4.75 million lunch date with billionaire investor Warren Buffet, but who is on the guest list so far, and what impression are they likely to make on noted crypto-skeptic Buffett?
Charlie Lee – Litecoin Founder
Lee, a former Googler, became interested in Bitcoin in 2011 and released Litecoin to the world later that year. Litecoin is often called the silver to Bitcoin’s gold, which will chime with Buffett, who refuses to own gold but owns almost $1 billion worth of silver on the basis of his value investing principles. Lee sold or gave away all his Litecoin holdings in December 2017, something else Buffet will no doubt like about him.
Jeremy Allaire – CEO Circle
Allaire has a technology background, which will not endear him to known technophobe Buffett. As if that wasn’t bad enough, Allaire left one part of the tech world for another in 2013 to form Circle, a cryptocurrency on-ramp for individuals and institutions. Circle also owns the Poloniex exchange and the USDC stablecoin, which is likely to make Buffett’s heart sink quicker than his silver collection in a swimming pool.
Livio Wang – CEO Huobi
All indications are that most of the conversation between Wang and Buffett will be about the weather or the traffic, given that the Venn diagram of interests seems pretty small. This is partly because information on Wang is hard to come by, probably for security reasons, and Buffett is not known to have any special sentiment for Singapore – and he sure as hell won’t care about Huobi. Perhaps they can discuss wash trading.
Yoni Assia – CEO and Co-founder eToro
Buffett will probably be able to talk shop with Assia more than the others, given that it is primarily an investment and trading platform, although their USP is that of ‘social investing’, where non-traders can copy the strategies of seasoned investors in the hopes of making a profit. For Buffett, who comes from the land of the accredited investor, the concept of common street rats joining him in the trading and investing game might cause those aged eyebrows to furrow, but even he should be able to see the value in the platform. No? You’re probably right.
Helen Hai – Binance Charity Foundation
This could prove to be a masterstroke by Sun – Hai is, among other things, a Young Global Leader and Co-Chair for the Global Future Council on the Future of Consumption, World Economic Forum, and the founder of Made in Africa Initiative. Hai will be able to spell out to Buffett just how blockchain and cryptocurrency could have a huge impact on the socio-economic prospects of those in underdeveloped countries and, if properly harnessed, can be a force for good in the world.
Sun’s A-Team Has Little Chance of Success
Sun’s stated aim is to change the views of the man who once called Bitcoin “rat poison squared”, and the panel he has so far put together has enough experience to make a fist of it. Buffett has actually called blockchain “ingenious” in the past, so there is a chance they will find some common ground there, but the chances of a bunch of tech kids (in Buffett’s eyes) being able to convince the man who waited 20 years to buy Amazon stock that Bitcoin is a good thing are not favorable.