NEven after the hammer fell, few still knew who had bought the United States Constitution at auction. “Team Brooke!” Cheered one part of the chat during the live broadcast of the auction, “Team David!” The other. Ultimately, “Team Brooke” got the job. David Schrader, who represented the ConstitutionDOA group at the auction house Sotheby’s, was unable to exceed Brooke Lampley’s bid on behalf of Ken Griffin, manager of the Citadel hedge fund. The bidding war ended at $ 41 million. Sotheby’s later reported the sale for $ 43.2 million, the highest value ever for a historical document. The auction house originally estimated the document to be worth $ 20 million.
ConstitutionDOA was made up of 17,437 donors from around the world who had set themselves the goal of buying the first edition of the United States Constitution, printed in 1787, at auction and displaying it in a freely accessible location. $ 47 million was raised in the form of the cryptocurrency Ether via an online campaign that started just a few days before the auction. The donors were coordinated in a decentralized autonomous organization, a program structure that records financial transactions via the blockchain. Following the auction, the donors were given the opportunity to receive their money back.
The seller of the document was Dorothy Tapper Goldman. The collector’s late husband, Howard Goldman, bought the copy at auction in 1988 for $ 165,000. Of 13 known copies, the one sold last Thursday is one of two privately owned. The 500 copies of the edition were originally intended for delegates to the Continental Congress and the Constitutional Convention of the United States.
It was the second time this year that Griffin and the swarm intelligence of the Internet met. In January Griffins hedge funds invested together with Point72 Asset Management in the hedge fund Melvin Capital after it had lost 53 percent of its value as a result of the private investor campaign for GameStop shares. Griffin plans to loan the copy of the Constitution to the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas. Entry to the museum is free.