The Boy Who Cried ‘Partnership!’ Justin Sun Tests Investor Faith
If there’s anything that whips up the crypto community and gets them leaping for Twitter, it’s the promise of a ‘partnership’ for their favorite project. In the desperation for cryptocurrencies to achieve mainstream acceptance, any potential collaboration with an internationally recognized company is cheered by anyone with a vested interest (or a heavy bag). Some cryptocurrency partnerships are of course genuine (VeChain-DNV GL, Enigma-Intel, IOTA-Bosch), but a trend has emerged in the space over the past year where even the most tenuous link with a household name is lauded from the rooftops as a ‘partnership’.
The King of Crypto Spin
The undisputed king of hype in the crypto sphere has to be Justin Sun, founder and CEO of Tron. Sun is renowned for wringing every drop out of even the most mundane news, often not so much stoking the rumor mill in the lead up to a ‘big reveal’ as dousing it in gasoline and throwing a lit firework at it. While some of his announcements are legitimate, his incessant stream of updates and recent Ethereum/EOS bashing have gone down less well, with one investor labelled them “airdrops, bragging, and useless information”..
When Is a Partnership Not a Partnership?
On October 12th Sun was up to his old tricks, stating that Tron were to “partner with (a) tens of billions USD valuation industry giant”. As social media flew into overdrive, one media outlet claimed to have been briefed by the Tron team that Chinese giant Baidu was the company in question. Cue hysteria and a 9% spike in the price of the TRX token. Then, some 48 hours later, the ‘partnership’ was revealed by Odaily via cnLedger – Tron were purchasing some of Baidu’s cloud computing space. And that was all. Excitement was quickly replaced by mockery, with many prominent social media commentators, among them hedge fund manager Ari Paul, calling out Sun for this obvious deception. It’s likely the backlash wouldn’t have been so fierce if Sun hadn’t spent the best part of a year overpromising and under-delivering in a similar manner.
Treat Them Mean…
For someone with such lofty ambitions for his project, Sun will have to learn that constantly dangling carrots in front of investors only to pull them away again is not the best way to earn their trust. This is particularly true during an emotionally taxing bear market, and indeed it seems that support may already be on the wane. How many more times can the boy cry ‘wolf’ before his investors abandon him?