Crypto Project Fails to Buy Constitution at Auction
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Crypto Project Fails to Buy Constitution at Auction

2mo ago

ConstitutionDAO was confident it had enough funds to snap up the historic document, but had to throw in the towel once bids exceeded $40 million.

Crypto Project Fails to Buy Constitution at Auction

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A group of cryptocurrency enthusiasts have failed in their audacious bid to buy a rare copy of the U.S. Constitution.

ConstitutionDAO — a decentralized autonomous organization — had been quietly confident about their chances ahead of last night's Sotheby's auction.

The coveted artifact was expected to fetch $15 million to $20 million, and the DAO had managed to raise more than $40 million.
A flurry of bids meant the copy of the U.S. Constitution, which was printed back in 1787 and is one of just 13 in existence, ended up selling for $43.2 million.

Speaking on Discord, those behind the DAO feared there wouldn't have been enough money left to "insure, store and transport the document" if a higher bid had been placed.

ConstitutionDAO's spending power was also probably stymied by the recent fall in ETH prices — and at the time of writing, the world's second-largest cryptocurrency is down 13.5% on the week.

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What Now?

The project remained upbeat as it broke the bad news to its community last night, and said in a statement:

"While this wasn't the outcome we hoped for, we still made history tonight with ConstitutionDAO. This is the largest crowdfund for a physical object that we are aware of — crypto or fiat. We are so incredibly grateful to have done this together with you all and are still in shock that we even got this far."

Organizers added that there were a number of other achievements to be proud of. Not only had records been broken for the most money crowdfunded in 72 hours, but an "entire cohort" of people around the world — including museum curators, art directors and grandmothers — had learned about ETH and how DAOs work.
The project's data suggests there were a total of 17,437 donors, with a median donation size of $206.26. Given how a "significant percentage came from wallets that were initialized for the first time," it's possible that many participants were also having their very first experience with crypto.

Signing off, the organizers assured donors that they would be contacted in the coming days to receive a refund — although gas fees would be deducted.

The auction was live streamed, but an already nail-biting watch for DAO members was punctuated by confusion, as they didn't actually know which representative was bidding on their behalf — and it wasn't immediately clear whether they had won when the auctioneer's gavel fell.