In brief

  • Justin Sun is launching a token in his own name.
  • It's a DeFi meme coin.
  • Through $SUN, Sun may hope to prove that he's capable of taking part in a community-led crypto project.

Justin Sun, the flamboyant CEO of the TRON blockchain and relentless marketer, today announced his latest project: A DeFi meme coin named after his own sunny self.

Mining for $SUN, his new coin, will commence on September 2, and the coin will officially launch on September 16, which Sun has christened SUNday. (September 16 is, in fact, a Wednesday. Sigh).

$SUN will power SUN Finance, a DeFi (decentralized finance) smart contract for which details are scant. It looks like $SUN is another yield farming token—governance tokens issued as rewards for staking crypto in its smart contract—only this time on the TRON blockchain.

Governance tokens are the hot new thing in crypto and largely responsible for the enormous DeFi boom of 2020—an industry into which investors have poured over $9 billion, much of it in the past two months.

Starting in late June, several non-custodial financial platforms began to reward loyal depositors with governance tokens, which they can use to vote on proposals to upgrade the network or sell on secondary markets. 

$SUN will function much like the liquidity mining coins that have come before it: Provide liquidity for various TRON tokens and you'll receive $SUN, which can be sold on secondary markets or used to vote on network governance proposals.

Many DeFi meme coins have also spiked in popularity and Sun clearly wants in. $YAM, $TENDIES, $SUSHI and others have risen by thousands of percentage points shortly after launch. $SUSHI, for instance, has risen 74% in the past 24 hours. 

One other thing: The vast majority of DeFi tokens live on Ethereum, and $SUN is likely Sun's effort to divert some of the DeFi crowd to his own platform, which is a direct competitor. As it stands, the DeFi community is firmly rooted in Ethereum. Of the 38 projects listed on DeFi Pulse, a metrics site that lists all of the major DeFi projects, 37 are based on Ethereum and the single outlier is based on Bitcoin. 

Although exactly what one can do with a $SUN is still unclear, what Sun has made clear is that this is "a genuine effort to allow a community to govern itself." There are no investments from venture capitalists nor private sales, nor pre-mines nor reserves for the team. Instead, $SUN is "wholly operated by the community through its open-source smart contracts," tweeted Sun. 

Some context: In the first half of this year, Sun angered thousands of people shortly after buying the social media platform that runs on the STEEM blockchain, Steemit. Wary of their new leader, the STEEM community temporarily blocked Sun’s access to a whole bunch of pre-mined tokens, which he could have used to exert influence over the network.  

Incensed, Sun used his influence and wealth to force a hard fork on the blockchain, undermining the democratically elected community leaders, whom he called "hackers.” Those sick of Sun swiftly defected to HIVE, a fork from the STEEM blockchain that houses a near-identical social media platform. 

Hence Sun's recalcitrance in his marketing for $SUN. "I hope the entire crypto community may judge its #success, not by its price, but instead by the indomitable spirit that underpins the $SUN": its community!"

Through $SUN, Sun also intends to show the world that he's capable of participating in a community-led blockchain project. "I will also participate in community discussion and governance to contribute my fair share to the growth of SUN's community," he wrote.

“With SUN, we hope to drive forward the development of community self-governance for DeFi on TRON,” states the project’s website. Of course, since the token’s in his own name, Sun’s influence on the project will never disappear completely.