Ken Griffin reportedly offered ConstitutionDAO joint governance and the chance to mint NFTs linked to the rare document, but he claims an agreement wasn't reached.
A billionaire who outbid crypto enthusiasts
and bought a rare copy of the U.S. Constitution has claimed he reached out to the group afterwards — but his offers were turned down.
According to Bloomberg,
Ken Griffin contacted ConstitutionDAO after the multimillion-dollar sale was complete — "and asked if they wanted to arrange a joint governance for the document."
The hedge fund manager says he also invited them to help make a decision on where it should be displayed — and proposed minting non-fungible tokens for the 17,000 people who donated to the DAO.
Although this could be regarded as a goodwill gesture following the disappointing outcome for the project, Griffin said:
"Ultimately we couldn't come to an agreement."
ConstitutionDAO had raised more than $40 million in order to get their hands on the prized artifact — with the decentralized project declaring it was "the largest crowdfund for a physical object that we are aware of."
But the fact that the funds they had raised were clearly visible through blockchain records could have been a disadvantage. Griffin swooped in with a bid of $43.2 million
— an offer ConstitutionDAO couldn't match because it wouldn't have had enough money left to "insure, store and transport the document."
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It was a tremendous stroke of bad luck for ConstitutionDAO.
The document had been printed back in 1787 and is one of just 13 in existence.
Prior to the auction, the decentralized autonomous organization was widely expected to be victorious — not least because the item was only expected to fetch between $15 million and $20 million.
Griffin had previously described the excitement surrounding cryptocurrencies as a "jihadist call" — prompting speculation from some that the billionaire was hoping to enact revenge with his purchase.
But in the Bloomberg interview, the Citadel founder revealed that he had gotten involved in bidding because his son had told him to — and as the auction took place, he was increasingly determined to come out on top:
"I told myself: 'I am going to own this.' I don’t do that very often."
Griffin also spoke highly of those behind ConstitutionDAO, and in a sign that his tone was softening, said digital assets "speak to the desire to change America."
The document is now going to be stored publicly and for free at a museum in Arkansas.
ConstitutionDAO has since announced
it is shutting down, with refunds being distributed to donors. Unfortunately, the Ether that participants are getting back has been hugely eroded by high gas fees.