Could this $4.6M lunch turn Buffett into a crypto believer?
I'd love to have lunch with Warren Buffett, but I'm sure not going to pay $4.6 million to do so.
For the last 20 years, he has auctioned off a Power Lunch with Warren Buffett at New York steakhouse Smith & Wollensky. Buffett donates 100% of the proceeds to the Glide Foundation, a San Francisco charity that serves the homeless.
These auctions have raised over $30 million since 2000. Noble stuff.
The staggering $4.6 million cost — a record high — to dine with one of the world's greatest investors wasn't unusual. What was unique is that this year's winning bid came from a young Chinese cryptocurrency entrepreneur.
Justin Sun is the 28-year-old founder of blockchain platform TRON (TRX, Rated C+) and CEO of peer-to-peer file sharing protocol BitTorrent.
Sun paid what seems like a ridiculous amount of money, but he is no dummy. This millennial made his first fortune as an early investor in Tesla when he was getting his MBA at the University of Pennsylvania in 2013. And he made a second pot of gold when he bought a big stake in Bitcoin (BTC, Rated "B") when it was selling for a fraction of where it is today.
Sun's goal is to turn Buffett into a cryptocurrency and blockchain fan. In his words:
"I'm a long-term believer (and certainly a big fan) of Buffett and his long-term value investing strategy. As some of you might know, the CEO of Berkshire Hathaway has said publicly he sees no 'unique value' in Bitcoin, the world's largest cryptocurrency. Yet, he has pointed to the potential in blockchain, the underlying technology behind all cryptocurrency. …
"I look at the upcoming lunch with Buffett as an opportunity to seek mutual understanding and growth. …
"Even one of the most successful investors of all times can sometimes miss a coming wave. Buffett has admitted he overpaid for a big investment food giant Kraft Heinz Co., while failing to realize the potential of the likes of Amazon.com Inc., Alphabet, the parent of Google and even Apple."
Sun has his work cut out for him because Buffett has shown nothing but disdain for cryptocurrencies. He has said Bitcoin is not an investment, but "a gambling device" or, worse, "rat poison squared."
"It doesn't do anything. It just sits there. It's like a seashell or something, and that is not an investment to me," said Buffett.
Buffett's friend and business partner Charlie Munger has been even harsher. He has said that anyone who invests in Bitcoin has "dementia."
I officially announce I’ve won the record-setting 20th-anniversary charity lunch hosted by @WarrenBuffett. I’ll also invite #blockchain industry leaders to meet with a titan of investment. I hope this benefits everyone. #TRON #TRX #BTT #BitTorrent pic.twitter.com/EMZ4TMhgpR— Justin Sun (@justinsuntron) June 3, 2019
Sun is allowed to bring up to seven friends with him and plans to bring other cryptocurrency leaders — including the founders of Ethereum (ETH, Rated "B") and Litecoin (LTC, Rated "B-") — to help him make his case with Buffett.
If those cryptocurrency evangelicals can convince Buffett to even stick his little toe into the crypto water, cryptocurrency prices would skyrocket.
I mean really, REALLY skyrocket.
The date of this lunch hasn't been announced, but I expect it will happen before the end of summer.
If you have yet to invest your first dollar into a cryptocurrency, you should do so before Sun and Buffett order their steaks.
Which cryptocurrency should you buy? The Weiss Crypto Ratings website has grades on all the major cryptocurrencies and should be the first place you turn to for crypto information.
Best of all, it's free.
And free is a very good price.
If you'd like recommendations on which digital coins and blockchain stocks to own, you can get those in our Weiss Ratings Crypto Investor newsletter. Try it out for a nominal fee, and I think you'll agree, this could be the best way to invest your first dollar into this exciting, and potentially very profitable, space.