A group of cryptocurrency fans lost a long-awaited bid for a rare first impression of the U.S. Constitution at a Sotheby’s auction on Thursday.
The group, ConstitutionDAO, ran a frenzied week-long online crowdfunding campaign to bid on the artefact, one of 13 known copies. He had raised more than $ 40 million in less than a week for the offer.
The final sale price was $ 43.2 million, according to a Sotheby’s spokesperson. The identity of the winner was not immediately known. Minutes after the hammer blow, ConstitutionDAO confirmed the loss on Twitter.
“While this is not the outcome we were hoping for, we still made history tonight with ConstitutionDAO,” he said, adding that contributors would see their donations refunded, less fees.
ConstitutionDAO is what is called a decentralized autonomous organization, a new type of group that is governed by the holders of a cryptocurrency token and enshrines its rules in blockchain-based “smart contracts”. The group was formed last week, and its last-minute efforts to raise funds for the auction have become a famous cause among cryptocurrency fans online.
Crypto collectives have already purchased high-priced artwork, including an album by the Wu-Tang Clan, “Once Upon a Time in Shaolin,” which was purchased by the anonymous investor collective PleasrDAO last month for $ 4 million. Had he won the auction, ConstitutionDAO would have made the biggest purchase by a DAO, and the first of such a large physical artifact.
The copy of the Constitution sold by Sotheby’s previously belonged to Dorothy Goldman, the widow of a New York real estate developer who bought it in 1988 for $ 165,000. Proceeds from the auction will go to the Dorothy Tapper Goldman Foundation, the auction house said.
Thursday night’s auction sparked a frenzy of excitement among ConstitutionDAO attendees, with thousands watching a live broadcast to encourage the group’s bid. At first, it was not clear whether the successful bidder represented ConstitutionDAO or not, and several people affiliated with the group falsely claimed victory.
But after the loss became clear, the mood in the band’s Discord chat darkened. As they talked about getting their money back, some attendees started making plans for the future.
“Okay, we didn’t get the Constitution,” wrote one user. “What are we going to bid on now?” “