For $28 Million, the Winner Is … Justin Sun

For $28 Million, the Winner Is … Justin Sun

Chinese cryptocurrency entrepreneur Justin Sun revealed today that he was the winning bidder in Blue Origin’s auction this summer to be the first passenger on New Shepard. Curiously, he decided not to fly that time and his identity remained a mystery until now. He has bought the other five seats on a New Shepard flight that will take place in the last quarter of 2022 and will choose five “warriors” to join him.

The news came via Twitter this morning in a thread from Mr. Sun, who wants to be referred to as His Excellency (H.E.) Justin Sun (@justinsuntron) because he is Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the World Trade Organization from Grenada.

A profile of Sun in The Verge last year, entitled “Hype Man of the Century,” makes no mention of his connection with Grenada, a Caribbean country that is one of the 54 members of the British Commonwealth. In an interview with CoinDesk a few days ago, however, Sun, who created the TRON blockchain, said he is shifting his focus to “the legitimization of blockchain technology on a nation-state level” and is “especially bullish on Caribbean countries including Grenada and the Bahamas.”

Grenada announced his appointment as Ambassador and WTO representative yesterday and proudly tweeted today that Sun will become the first Granadian in space and carry Grenada’s flag with him.

Blue Origin’s auction was for a ticket to ride on the first New Shepard passenger flight with company founder Jeff Bezos on July 20, the anniversary of the Apollo 11 landing on the Moon. The winning bid was $28 million. Blue Origin’s press release today reminded everyone that the money already has been delivered and distributed to 19 space-based charities and its own Club for the Future, dedicated to inspiring young people to study STEM fields.

Sun chose not to make that flight and Dutch teenager Oliver Daemen got to go instead.

Sun has initated a Sea of Stars Campaign to choose five companions to take along on the flight. In his tweet he referred to them as “warriors.” Blue Origin’s press release says they “may include a member of the TRON DAO community, comprising of long-term holders of TRX, BTT, JST, SUN, NFT, and WIN, and other outstanding leaders drawn from the worlds of fashion, art, technology, space exploration, and entrepreneurship.”

In his Twitter thread today he described the types of people he will choose: a prominent figure in the crypto world who is crazy about cruising in Metaverse; a TRON DAO community member with a strong passion for space; an entrepreneur in the Tech field with a vision for the future who welcomes innovation in all technology-related fields; an artist who has the wildest dreams of space and the future of humankind; and a highly visible and socially influential celebrity who will inspire more people to participate in space exploration.

Born in Xining City, China in 1990, he graduated from Peking University and “continued his educational journey at the University of Pennsylvania” according to the Sea of Stars website. He created TRON in 2017, which “currently has 62 million registered users, making it one of the three largest public chains in the world.”

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