Crypto whiz kid Justin Sun’s $4.6 million lunch with Warren Buffett has sparked China conspiracies, public apologies, and an invite for Donald Trump. Here’s a timeline of what’s happened.

Warren Buffett and Justin Sun

June 3, 2019: Justin Sun announces on Twitter that he’s won Warren Buffett’s annual charity lunch. His winning bid of $4.57 million is donated to the Glide Foundation, a homeless charity in San Francisco. Sun pledges to explain the benefits of cryptocurrency to Berkshire Hathaway’s billionaire boss, a notorious crypto skeptic who has blasted Bitcoin as “rat poison squared.”

Justin Sun

June 4, 2019: Sun, who’s allowed to bring up to seven guests to the lunch, says he plans to invite Binance boss Changpeng Zhao, Litecoin creator Charlie Lee, and Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin during a CNBC interview. Here’s a list of everyone he’s invited.

June 4, 2019: Zhao, head of the Binance cryptocurrency exchange, declines Sun’s lunch invitation, saying it’s too far to travel.

June 16, 2019: Sun invites Lee to attend the lunch. Lee accepts.

July 5, 2019: Sun tweets that he’s invited Zhao, Lee, and Livio Weng, head of the Huobi crypto exchange.

July 12, 2019: Sun invites Donald Trump after the president says he’s “not a fan of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies” on Twitter. “I guarantee you after this lunch, nobody will know crypto more than you!” Sun responds.

July 18, 2019: Sun invites Jeremy Allaire, the head of Circle, a peer-to-peer payments group that counts Goldman Sachs among its backers. Allaire accepts.

July 21, 2019: Sun invites Helen Haiyu, head of blockchain at Binance Charity Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the crypto exchange. Haiyu accepts.

July 21, 2019: Sun invites Yoni Assia, head of eToro, a social trading platform. Assia accepts.

July 22, 2019: Sun invites Chris Lee, head of finance at Huobi. Lee accepts.

July 22, 2019: Tron announces the lunch will be postponed after Sun falls ill with kidney stones.

July 23, 2019: The 21st Century Business Herald, a Chinese news outlet, reports Sun is suspected of illegal fundraising, money laundering, and gambling. Chinese newspaper Caixin reports Sun delayed the meal because he’s being held by the Chinese government over the allegations. Sun squashes the rumors by broadcasting a live video showing him in a San Francisco skyscraper with a view of the Bay Bridge.

July 24, 2019: The New York Times reports one of Sun’s companies, voice-streaming app Peiwo, was blacklisted by Chinese regulators in June for operating illegally. Later, Sun publishes a groveling apology on Chinese social media, bemoaning his “big mouth” and “vulgar hype and marketing” and pledging to “put the interests of the country, sector and the public above anything else.” The post is deleted shortly after it goes live. 

July 25, 2019: The original date of the Buffett lunch. Photos on social media show Sun partying with influencers at a Tron event celebrating the one-year anniversary of its takeover of BitTorrent. Bloomberg reports that Tron executives were briefly detained by Chinese authorities then released once Sun delayed the charity meal.

July 27, 2019: Ran Neuner, host of CNBC Africa’s Crypto Trader, reports the US-China trade war might be a factor in the lunch being delayed. “Sources in China say the Chinese government believed that @justinsuntron ‘promoting’ the Warren Buffett lunch was a ‘provocative’ act given current trade tensions,” Neuner tweeted. “He has been told not to pursue the lunch. My source believes the lunch won’t happen at all.”

August 29, 2019: Tron communications director Cliff Edwards tells Blocktv the Buffett lunch is being rescheduled. “It took about two months for us to get all nine people to come to San Francisco and sit in one room for five hours with Warren Buffett,” he said. “We are in the process of corralling all of those nine people again to get it back on track.”

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