A group of cryptocurrency investors took the phrase “We the People” from the US Constitution to its logical conclusion. They banded together to try to buy a rare copy of the document, claiming to have raised $40 million in the process.
Despite the large sum of money raised, the group was unable to purchase the document.
However, the group issued a statement on Thursday night indicating that they did not win the auction.
“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.”
Those who contributed money “will be able to get a refund of your pro rata amount (effectively minus gas fees) through Juicebox,” according to the group.
If you’re wondering what the acronym DAO stands for, it stands for “decentralized autonomous organization.” DAOs are created using the blockchain, which serves as the foundation for bitcoin and other cryptocurrency transactions.
Investors who contributed to the Constitution DAO pool primarily paid for their share of the offer in ethereum, the world’s second most valuable cryptocurrency.
Constitution DAO supporters have been touting the bid on Twitter, with one particularly enthusiastic and patriotic poster writing a nine-tweet thread that featured the entire preamble to the Constitution in capital letters.
The document, which is thought to be one of only thirteen copies remaining from an original printing of 500, was estimated to sell for $15 million to $20 million on the Sotheby’s website prior to the auction. In the art world, cryptocurrencies are becoming increasingly popular payment methods.
Sotheby’s has accepted bitcoin and ethereum, or ether for short, as a means for collectors to bid on paintings and other commodities.
Sotheby’s said earlier this year that it will take bitcoin or ether as payment for a work by Banksy, a well-known street artist.
And only last week, Sotheby’s stated that it would have its auctioneer reveal real-time bid amounts in ether increments for two more Banksy pieces up for auction.