Mystery solved: ConstitutionDAO, the group of far-flung investors who combined their Ethereum to try to purchase a rare copy of the U.S. Constitution, lost their $43.2 million bidding war to billionaire Ken Griffin.
Griffin is the founder and CEO of Citadel, the electronic trading company that played a key role in the GameStop saga earlier this year. Some believe the firm, which executes many stock trades placed by customers of Robinhood, pushed the mobile trading app to stop accepting buy orders for GME as the stock price surged. Investors are suing Citadel Securities and Robinhood for losses.
Whereas Robinhood and Citadel emerged from the frothy meme market looking like bad guys in the eyes of retail app investors, GameStop's rise signaled newfound power for internet and social media-based movements to impact financial markets.
That same thread was on display last week, when a small group of people formed on social media to purchase a privately-held copy of the U.S. Constitution, which was auctioned by Sotheby's on Thursday evening. Though they succeeded in raising $45 million, they declined to one-up the final bid of $41 million due to the auction house fees and storage costs for the document.
Since the purchase, the internet has been alive with half-hearted rumors that TRON founder Justin Sun secretly bought the document, but the crypto faithful—thousands of whom flooded the Sotheby's YouTube channel with Web 3-coined slang such as "gm"—will be disheartened to learn that Griffin was the buyer.
Last week, the executive told the New York Times DealBook Summit there are "no commercial use cases" for Bitcoin and that he believes blockchain is a powerful technology that doesn't solve most problems. “I worry that some of this passion is misplaced when it comes to cryptocurrencies,” he added.
Though he stated that Ethereum would likely overtake Bitcoin, he's not necessarily rooting for the outcome. In October, he likened the embrace of crypto to a "jihadist call."