On 19 November, an rare first-edition printed copy of the US Constitution went on auction in New York, Sotheby’s. It was one of the only 11 surviving copies left in private hands. The auction was expected to reach $20m but after an intense eight minute bidding period the document exceeded expectations and sold for $43.2m.
One of the bidders for this rare document was ConstitutionDAO, a crypto group that held a crowdfunded operation in an attempt to win the auction. In an online viewing party the project announced they had lost.
ConstitutionDAO believes it still made history in its attempt to purchase the rare copy despite losing the bid. Organizer Julian Weisser says this was the largest crowdfunded operation for a single physical object in crypto or fiat he had ever seen.
According to Weisser, the pace of donations grew rapidly as the auction approached with more than 17,000 participants. The average pledge of the participants was around $206, raising roughly $47m in total.
If ConstitutionDAO had won the bid, its holders would not own the physical document but would rather have a say in its use. They stated if they had won the copy of the US Constitution it would be expertly housed and available for public display.
The organizers grew the publicity through the dedicated Discord server and collected donations through a service called JuiceBox which holds user’s cryptocurrencies in a single multi-signature wallet.
Once they announced they failed to win the bid for the rare document, the team went on to say that refunds would be reembursed. The donations which were collected in Ethereum would be returned to the pledgers, minus the transaction fees required to return their funds.
There are no more available copies of this document so it is unsure what the next venture will be for ConstitutionDAO. The team stated there has been little sleep in many days leading up to the auction and would require some rest before they plan their next venture.