Wednesday, January 19th, 2022

Citadel CEO Ken Griffin pays $43.2 million for Constitution copy, outbidding crypto group


Ken Griffin, the founder and CEO of Citadel.

E. Jason Wambsgans | Tribune News Service | Getty Images

Ken Griffin, billionaire CEO of hedge fund Citadel, paid $43.2 million for a first-edition copy of the U.S. Constitution at a Sotheby’s auction on Thursday, outbidding a group of cryptocurrency investors.

The amount more than doubles its $20 million high estimate, setting a world auction record for any book, manuscript, historical document, or printed text, according to Sotheby’s.

A band of more than 17,000 crypto enthusiasts, identified as ConstitionDAO, had crowdfunded more than $40 million via social media earlier this week in a bid to win the auction. Sotheby’s said it was the largest crowdfunding initiative ever put together.

The group lost the bid to Griffin in an eight-minute bidding battle on the telephones, Sotheby’s said.

Griffin intends to lend the piece to a free Arkansas art museum, a Citadel spokesperson said.

“The U.S. Constitution is a sacred document that enshrines the rights of every American and all those who aspire to be,” Griffin said in a statement. “That is why I intend to ensure that this copy of our Constitution will be available for all Americans and visitors to view and appreciate in our museums and other public spaces.”

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