- In a ‘record-breaking’ Sotheby’s auction, a crypto group loses its purchase of a rare US Constitution copy for USD 43 million at an auction in New York.
- Dorothy Tapper Goldman, a collector, and philanthropist owned the document.
- According to auctioneer Sotheby’s, the winning offer was $41 million, and the total price was $43.2 million, including overheads and other fees.
On Thursday, a cryptocurrency crowdfunding could not outbid a private investor for a rare first-edition copy of the United States Constitution. A group of crypto investors pooled $47 million in the ether in a week to bid for a rare, first-edition copy of the United States Constitution at a Sotheby’s auction — and came up short.
According to auctioneer Sotheby’s, the winning offer was $41 million, and the total price was $43.2 million, including overheads and other fees.
Sotheby’s auction house said, “Tonight’s historic sale of The ‘Official Edition’ of The United States Constitution soared to a record-breaking $43.2 million, with all proceeds benefiting the Dorothy Tapper Goldman Foundation’s educational programs for students,”
In its ‘frequently asked questions,’ the firm, known as ConstitutionDAO, stated that the payments would be redeemed, less a transaction charge.
According to footage from Sotheby’s Manhattan event, an anonymous collector won the document with a winning phone bid of $41 million, higher than the $40 million provided by the ConstitutionDao group.
“Community: We did not win the bid,” ConstitutionDAO tweeted, promising its 17,437 contributors a refund.
It was unclear why the company, which had collected $47 million in ethereum from over 17,000 investors, did not spend more ethereum for one of the 13 authentic copies of the historical document that remained.
ConstitutionDAO contributor Alice Ma assured CNBC that they would “for sure…provide everyone an option for a refund.” However, Ma went on to say that “there are many people who have already said they want to leave their funds in the wallet, and we are deciding between several options internally for that scenario!”
Constitution “WAGBI,” or “we’re all going to buy it,” was DAO’s rallying point. The hundreds of investors that make up this DAO, on the other hand, would not have earned fractional ownership of the document. Instead, they would have become owners of the “People” cryptocurrency, which would have given them some voting rights over the document’s destiny.
“Everyone who buys in, they get a portion of the governance token of the DAO, and they can then use that token to vote on where the Constitution should be custodied,” Ma told CNBC ahead of the auction. The crypto crowd has been considering other museums and libraries throughout the country, including the Smithsonian and the New York Public Library.
“We still made history tonight with ConstitutionDAO,” the organization tweeted, “While this wasn’t the outcome we hoped for.”
“This is the largest crowdfund for a physical object that we are aware of — crypto or fiat.”
The auction firm estimated the first-edition copy of the Constitution to be worth $15 to $20 million. S Howard Goldman, a real estate entrepreneur, bought it for $165,000 in 1988.
According to Sotheby’s, the proceeds will go to his wife Dorothy Tapper Goldman’s organization, promoting public knowledge of democracy.