Ken Griffin says he spent $43.2M to buy US Constitution for son

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Hedge fund billionaire Ken Griffin said he decided to shell out $43.2 million last month for a rare copy of the US Constitution at the urging of his son.

“I was sitting at home in New York, and my son calls me to say, ‘Dad, you have to buy the Constitution,’” the Citadel founder told Bloomberg in an interview Thursday.

The document, which is one of 13 original copies from 1787, was initially valued by Sotheby’s at $15 million to $20 million. But Griffin said he decided he’d spend whatever it took to get it.

“I told myself, ‘I am going to own this,’” Griffin said. “I don’t do that very often.”

For Griffin, who is worth an estimated $21.6 billion according to Bloomberg Billionaires Index, spending tens of millions of dollars on a historic relic is likely a drop in the bucket.

But it roiled the consortium of crypto investors he outbid. ConstitutionDAO, a group of 17,000 people who organized on the blockchain, raised more than $40 million to purchase the founding document.

ken griffin
Ken Griffin dropped millions on the Constitution after his son said, “Dad, you have to buy the Constitution.”
Bloomberg via Getty Images

Even after Griffin outbid the group, he offered them “joint governance” which would allow them say in where the document is displayed. He also offered them rights to create a non-fungible token of Griffin’s copy of the Constitution.

“Ultimately we couldn’t come to an agreement,” Griffin said.

ConstitutionDAO has since disbanded and returned investors their money. The group has one lasting legacy: they minted a token for investors that surged 900 percent in recent weeks. 

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