On Thursday, a crowd-funded attempt by cryptocurrency aficionados to buy a rare copy of the United States constitution fell short after the document was sold at auction for $43.2 million to another buyer.
The victorious bidder’s identity was not immediately revealed, nor was it apparent why the cryptocurrency group “ConstitutionDAO” was outbid at that amount, despite the fact that their crowd-funding page had raised over $47 million.
“Community: We did not win the bid,” ConstitutionDAO said on Twitter, promising its 17,437 contributors a refund minus transaction fees.
Sotheby’s assessed the value of the exceedingly rare original first-edition printed copy of the United States Constitution, which was adopted by America’s founding fathers in Philadelphia in 1787, to be between $15 million and $20 million.
It was purchased by the late S. Howard Goldman, a New York real estate entrepreneur and collector of American autographs, documents, and manuscripts, for $165,000 in 1988.
Sotheby’s claimed the winning bid was $41 million, with the ultimate price of $43.2 million including overheads and other fees.
According to Sotheby’s, the sale revenues will benefit a nonprofit foundation established in his wife’s name, Dorothy Tapper Goldman, to improve the public’s understanding of democracy.
The ConstitutionDAO website https://www.constitutiondao.com had said contributors would become members of the Decentralised Autonomous Organisation, or DAO, but would not themselves have had a stake in the document.
A decentralised autonomous organisation (DAO) is an online community that uses blockchain technology to allow members to make suggestions and vote on how the organisation is governed.
According to the crowdfunding website Juicebox, more than $47 million, or 11,600 ether, had been invested in the project.
According to Sotheby’s, the document they lost out on is one of only 11 known existing copies – the only one currently in private hands – from the official first printing of the final text of the Constitution, as adopted in Philadelphia and submitted for approval to the Continental Congress.