8 Things You Need to Know About Jack Ma’s Protégé, Justin Sun

The young tech entrepreneur's impressive career is inspiringly unattainable

24.06.2019 | by Kezia Parkins
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At just 29, China’s Justin Sun has a phenomenal CV. He is the CEO of three successful companies and a highly skilled influencer and marketer. Keep reading to get the low-down on this millennial serial entrepreneur.


1. He is the founder of cryptocurrency Tron

Created by Sun in 2017, Tron is one of the most valuable cryptocurrencies in the world.
Tron is a decentralized entertainment and content-sharing platform powered by blockchain and peer-to-peer (P2P) technology. Tronix (TRX) is the currency that pays you for your content. Tron raised $58 million in an ICO in September 2017.

2.  As we said in the title—he’s Jack Ma’s protégé

If you are familiar with Jack Ma—co-founder of Alibaba Group and Ant Financial and the second richest man in China—then you will know what a big deal it would be to be under his wing. Justin Sun was the first millennial student to enrol in Ma’s Hupan University in 2015, personally invited by the magnate himself.

Sun told the Coin Telegraph that the opportunity “made a huge impact and difference to me and the company. Without Hupan, Tron will not be what it is today. My entrepreneurship was enlightened and developed there.” Sun recently donated $1.5 million to the university.


3. He is a leader in blockchain and wants to decentralize everything

Decentralized internet is the idea that the web is run across a number of machines that are owned by regular users rather than owned in a central place like a server.

With a decentralized internet, the data are not stored in any one privately owned silo. Therefore, there is no central point to hack, and no way for governments or dictatorships to take control of it. It is less corruptible and more resistant to corporate or political regulation.

Sun wants his company to become the major blockchain platform that could one day be the decentralized alternative to centralized internet networks like Google, Facebook and Apple.

To do that, all he needs to do is convince the world to switch to cryptocurrencies.


4. He bought BitTorrent

Yep, he just straight-up bought it! The finalisation of the acquisition of the P2P platform was announced in July 2018 for $140 million.

“From this day on, BitTorrent, whose software has been installed on billions of user devices, will become part of the TRON ecosystem, making TRON the largest decentralized Internet ecosystem in the world,” he said in his lengthy announcement letter on Medium.

According to Sun, “The BitTorrent protocol retains its status as the world’s largest decentralized protocol, once transmitting 40% of daily Internet traffic.”

“With the integration of BitTorrent, TRON aims to liberate the Internet from the stranglehold of large corporations, give data rights back to the individual, and reignite the early 21st century vision of a free, transparent, decentralized network to connect the world, because the internet belongs to the people,” he added.

5. He is the founder of Peiwo

Sun’s first major creation was a voice streaming app called Peiwo, or “Call Me.” The app has been referred to by Forbes as China’s Snapchat— it connects people using 10-second voice samples. Peiwo has introduced multiple channels for users to make like-minded friends with online games, talent shows and live streaming. According to Forbes, it has matched more than four billion chats to date.

Peiwo earned Sun a spot on Forbes’ 30 under 30 list in 2017.


6. He paid nearly $4.57 million to have lunch with Warren Buffet

Sun is notoriously a fan of Warren Buffet and his famed investment strategy. And Buffet is notoriously sceptical of cryptocurrencies calling them a “gambling device.”

The meeting of the two mogul’s could make an interesting (if not a little awkward) lunch date.

One thing we know for sure is that it was expensive. Sun placed a record-breaking bid of $4.57 million to lunch with the “investment wizard” Warren Buffett as part of the Oracle of Omaha’s annual charity auction for the Glide Foundation.

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.


7. He used to write novels

The crypto tech tycoon’s educational background is not one that you might necessarily associate with his current career.

Before moving to the US to complete his master’s at the University of Pensylvania, he studied history as an undergraduate at Peking University in Beijing.

In an interview on Phoenix TV, he claimed that as a student he loved writing novels. But, being the perfectionist that he is, he would burn them if he or a fellow student were unsatisfied with the story.

“At least a dozen of my own novels were burned. At that time, my readers’ opinions are particularly important to me. If I felt that someone was not satisfied, I would have to burn it,” he said.


8. He is somewhat of a marketing genius

If the Buffet lunch did not convince you of Sun’s marketing chops, then just take a look at his social media strategy. An example is his recent announcement of an announcement sent out to his 1.3 million Twitter followers caused the price of both TRX and BTT to skyrocket, proving his influence.

TRON jumped by 11 percent within two hours of Sun’s announcement, trading at $0.03 at noon that Sunday. According to CoinMarketCap, the price growth was followed by a 30 percent influx in daily trading volume, which reached $800 million.

The bitcoin community was clearly expecting a “win” from Sun, as BitTorrent rose by 18 percent by noon the same day.

We now know that it was the Buffet lunch that he was teasing the whole time.

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