Initially, when CoinDesk published an article (Dec. 17th) titled, 'Justin Sun is Retiring from Tron - but not Crypto', it came as a slight shock - but the news still felt mundane amid the larger picture of the crypto markets & other more pertinent, evolving storylines at this point in time.
But after taking a second look at this piece (ignoring Sun's social media responses) it appears that there is substantially more to this story than what meets the eye at initial glance.
For reference, below is a direct link to the CoinDesk piece we're talking about here
Examining CoinDesk's Piece Detailing Sun's Decision to Step Down Functionally as Tron's "leader"
After reading this piece a few more times, the first curious revelation from the piece that consistently stood out during each read-through with increasing prominence was the following: "Sun said in an interview with CoinDesk that he is moving to focus on crypto legitimization in Latin American countries...For now, that means becoming an ambassador of the Grenada government to the World Trade Organization (WTO)."
editor's comment: Huh? Grenada? Where did they come from? We'll get into that further on in this piece. For now, let's check out all other information included in that piece relevant to Sun's affiliation / future-planned activities in Grenada
Continuing on, the CoinDesk piece goes on to reveal, "Sun detailed his personal career plans in an open letter reviewed by CoinDesk. They include giving away at least some of his power on the Tron blockchain and promoting blockchain and crypto in countries like Grenada."
Followed by: "Sun is especially bullish on Carribean countries including Grenada and the Bahamas." With an added tidibit thrown at the end of that paragraph that reveals, "[Justin Sun] was visiting Panama at the time of his CoinDesk interview on Tuesday."
CoinDesk's Explanation for 'Why Grenada' Doesn't Wash
If you're following along with the article, we're moving on to the sub-heading titled, 'Why Grenada' (screenshot below for reference):
For the sake of brevity here, below are the most important extrapolated tidbits:
- The whole spin about the island recognizing English as its official language, having good universities, etc., is bullshit - disregard it. That's fluff.
- "If the legitimization of the blockchain industry in countries such as Grenada proves to be a success, it would also potentially persuade the U.S. and China to speed up or resume their blockchain efforts, Sun said." (editor's comment: appreciate Sun's commitment to the 'character' here; if you're a reader, however, know that there's a 0% chance that any editor, journalist or even Justin Sun himself would be able to look you in the eye and repeat that sentence with a straight face)
Rest of the CoinDesk Article is Fluff/Bullshit
editor's note: This assertion does not stem from any preconceived notions about the quality of CoinDesk's journalism (admittedly though, Librehash has been extraordinarily critical of CoinDesk's subpar journalism over the past few months & years).
For those that elect to continue reading from here, it will soon become apparent why Justin Sun is really looking shift his focuses to Grenada (specifically).
Digging into 'Grenada'
Foreword: Even though the CoinDesk piece appeared to be purposed as an announcement of Sun's intentions to step down from Tron, it read more so like a covert endorsement of 'Grenada', for some reason. When considering how eclectic and involved Sun has been in the crypto space and broader blockchain community from his introduction to present, its worth noting and probing into why Sun's future planned endeavors with Grenada received such outsized coverage relative to the universe of alternative facts, perspectives and/or facets of Sun's decision it could have peeled back. Not to worry though - CoinDesk's failiure to provide a more comprehensive look at Grenada does not mean we are forced to be robbed of a greater understanding of what's going on.
If you aren't familiar with 'Grenada', its a small ass 'island'(?), located just off the Carribean (so in the middle of the ocean).
'Here in the deep blue seaaaaa'
It was invaded by the U.S. several decades ago as part of their usual imperialist agenda (you know the deal - leader overthrown/murdered, new demagogue put in their place to serve as proxy representation for Western interests against whatever local opposition persists once the dust settles)
If you're Justin Sun, you could consider this place to be 'bumfuck nowhere', for all intents & purposes.
With no immediately apparent reason yet behind Sun's decision to make Grenada his new (potential domicile?), we're encouraged to venture ever further down this rabbit hole.
Grenada's Unique Relevance for People like Justin Sun
Revisiting the CoinDesk article for a second, let's recall that it stated Justin Sun's intentions were set on, "Becoming an ambassador of the Grenada government to the World Trade Organization (WTO)."
This relationship between Grenada & Justin Sun was further expounded on later in the article where it mentions that, "Sun detailed his personal career plans in an open letter reviewed by CoinDesk. They include giving away at least some of his power on the Tron blockchain and promoting blockchain and crypto in countries like Grenada."
Again, that nagging question rears its head again to ask rhetorically, 'What exactly is it that's so special about this teeny, tiny little island located just off the coast of the Carribean in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, thousands of miles away from where Justin Sun's roots are?' (mainland China)
Not so Far Away from Home: Grenada-China Diplomatic Relations
For those following China's international relations strategy over the past decade or so, you've likely become familiar with their alternative method (to the U.S.) for sowing seeds of influence abroad.
As mentioned prior, throughout the 20th century, the U.S. aggressively engaged in numerous proxy wars, covert military operations designed to manifest and/or arm/fund/exacerbate civil unrest or military coups with the ultimate goal of toppling leaders around the world that refused or failed to align themselves and their nation's governance with U.S. strategic interests (even when their failure to adhere wasn't necessarily a declaration of opposition; i.e., this foreign policy strategy was deployed by the U.S. to counter perceived Soviet Cold War aggression stance when U.S. & U.N.-backed troops helped fuel civil war & unrest (via proxy), leading to the assasination of the first democratically elected leader of the nation, destabilizing the nation for decades to come).
China's alternative strategy has been to offer various financial resources (low, flat interest rate loans with gracious payback periods that extend as long as 30 years or more).
China has deployed this strategy (with remarkable success) over the past decade, leading to the strengthening of its presence, influence and diplomatic relations with countless nations located on the African continent, Middle Eastern region and, as we'll see here - the 'Caribbean' as well.
The irony here is that the door to these opportunities were largely kicked down by the United States in times prior. However, the U.S. tends to have a relatively short attention span when it comes to foreign policy objectives (especially w the significant increase in polarization between opposing parties in the nation's two-party system), so whatever plan the U.S. had initially for the Carribean has likely been scrapped at this point.
Where China Comes in (Grenada)
While researching more about this online, I stumbled across one piece published in June 2021 that provides a really good overview of China's growing influence & diplomatic relations with various nations located in the Caribbean.
For those interested, you can find that here (super highly fucking recommended):
Notably, the piece starts off informing the reader that, "The Caribbean is not an idle player. Regional governments actively seek deals from Chinese firms and government organizations—often with significant success."
Moving forward, the above referenced piece provides critical historical background behind Grenada-Chinese relations that will help us understand what put this particular island on Sun's radar (out of all others in existence on planet earth)
Birth of Grenada-Chinese Relations (from the same report):
"After Grenada was virtually decimated by Hurricane Ivan in 2005, the country's leaders decided to switch Grenada's recognition to China, which came to the nation's aid in rebuilding key infrastructure. China was not the first choice for Grenada, but it was the only country willing to provide the necessary assistance." ([editor's note: The United States' decision to stiff Grenada here is a head-scratcher when considering how much effort & resource had been deployed in decades prior to ensure American strategic interests would be represented in the [Caribbean] region])
That revelation above is profoundly important in helping us gain a historical, geopolitical and contextual understanding of why Grenada makes sense for Justin Sun.
Grenada's Relevance (Financially)
The following gems are all from that same foreign policy report (cited above):
- "The Caribbean is well known for its offshore financial centers."
- "Chinese firms regularly use offshore financial centers of places like the Cayman Islands and the British Virgin Islands to access global financial markets. They use that foothold primarily to gain access to U.S. markets."
- "Caribbean offshore (particularly the British Overseas Territories) aces as a link between China and the U.S. in terms of capital flow."
- "Were it not for Caribbean offshore, there would likely not be as many Chinese firms on U.S. exchanges and on exchanges in Toronto and London."
Citizenship by Investment Program in the Caribbean
This facet of Grenada's citizenship policy framework lends itself as perhaps the most unique (curious) feature of this tiny island-state.
The foreign-policy report we've been referencing throughout this piece assists us once again by providing a comprehensive overview of this, 'Citizenship by Investment' program.'
Specifically, it details how, "Under CIPs, nationals of other countries are able to purchase citizenship in Carribean countries by investing in approved assets or financial instruments."
It goes on further ot state that, "CIPs are a core source of Chinese direct investment in the Carribean, and a robust framing of China-Carribean relations should reflect this fact."
The article goes on to identify the five Carribean nations that currently offer this program, which are:
- St. Kitts and Nevis
- Antigua and Barbuda
- St. Lucia
- Grenada (interesting)
The piece then reveals, "Across the five islands, Chinese nationals are the single largest source of applicants/new citizens."
A link to a peer-reviewed study published circa April 2021 is then provided to corroborate this claim (see below):
That can be found here - https://globalcapitalallocation.s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/CMNS-Paper.pdf (paper titled, 'Redrawing the Map of Global Capital Flows: The Role of Cross-Border Financing and Tax Havens'
Better Understanding of the Rationale Behind Justin Sun's Move
At surface value, this decision (announcement by CoinDesk & Justin Sun's subsequent rebuttals / threads / tweets published afterward in an attempt to provide greater clarity in the situation [?]), seemed like run-of-the-mill, mundane news.
But when we read deeper between the lines, we can see that there might be significant meaning behind this move for Justin Sun.
Knowing what we now know, there are some solid questions we should ask ourselves here, such as:
- 'Is Justin Sun/Tron/any related entities under financial diuress of some sort?'
- 'Is Justin Sun/Tron/any related entities under some sort of pending investigation by any Western regulatory bodies?'
- 'What is Justin Sun's relationship with China at this present moment?' + 'Has he managed to resolve the various grievances brought against the Chinese-based extension of Tron in the mainland, circa Beijing?'
- 'What does this move mean for USDT, Binance & other related players?' (this must be asked since Justin Sun has an extraordinarily tight relationship with these entities that has frankly been criminally understated in the broader crypto media)