2021 was the year of celebrity trips to space - most aboard a spaceship developed by Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin. And it looks like 2022 will bring more of the same.
Celebrity trips are typically revealed closer to departure dates, but one crypto exec is already sharing his plans. Justin Sun, founder of the TRON Foundation (and the wildly popular TRON cryptocurrency), is set to be the next celebrity in space.
The Sun is Up
In December, Sun took to Twitter to announce he'd won tickets to fulfill his lifelong dream to go to space. The multimillionaire crypto mogul said his flight should have happened much sooner, but he'll now get to go this year.
As many recall, Blue Origin's first flight came in July. Company founder Jeff Bezos flew to space with his brother Mark and two other guests.
Each slot for the flight cost a reported $28 million. Sun says he was initially booked for that inaugural flight. While he missed the shot, his dream of going to space has stayed valid. Now, the millionaire is set to make that dream a reality.
Shedding more light on his plans, Sun says he won't be going alone. He'll be taking five people from diverse walks of life on his space trip - now named the "Sea of Stars."
According to Sun, the first nominee for his trip will be a crypto entrepreneur who is building something related to the metaverse. The second nominee will be a member of the TRON Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO), with Sun claiming that anyone from the community can be selected.
The third nominee for Sun's trip will be chosen from his tech entrepreneur circle, while the fourth nominee will be an artist. Rounding out the five will be a "highly visible and socially influential celebrity."
Sun said the first guest will be a mystery, hinting that he may pick a social media influencer to join him on the trip.
For now, the official Sea of Stars website says the flight should launch in Q4 2022. Sun claims he will reveal the nominees for his flight throughout the year.
Another Promotional Attempt?
It's not surprising to see Sun booking a flight on Blue Origin. The crypto businessman has taken every opportunity to promote himself and his company, even to the point of criticism.
Sun famously paid $4.6 million for dinner with billionaire investor Warren Buffett, the two men joining other business leaders for a meal back in January 2020. Sun said in a press release that they spoke on a myriad of details, though it appears the dinner did little to sway Buffett - who remains unconvinced on the future of cryptocurrencies.
His Excellency, Justin Sun
The latest move for Sun? Policy and advocacy. Last month, the crypto boss was appointed as an ambassador for the small nation of Grenada to the World Trade Association (WTO).
As part of his transition, Sun confirms he will be leaving the TRON Foundation - the company he founded and has run for almost a decade. He said he believes the time has come for TRON to run autonomously, in line with the core concepts of blockchain technology and decentralization.
Speaking on Bloomberg News about his decision to take on this role, Sun said the crypto industry is now large enough that sovereign states and countries will need to join in moving it to the next phase.
"That's why I think I will focus lots of my energy, to try and push blockchain technology and cryptocurrency -- the importance of all of this in developing countries and developed states as well. I will also try to promote new technology development in Grenada."
It's unclear what role Sun will play in developing blockchain technology in Grenada. Still, he does have a point. Blockchain and crypto are growing at impressive levels. It's essential to get government participation if things are to expand from here. Hopefully, he can make some meaningful impact.