ConstitutionDAO Loses Auction Bid for Rare US Constitution after Raising $47M 

UTC by Tolu Ajiboye · 3 min read
ConstitutionDAO Loses Auction Bid for Rare US Constitution after Raising $47M 
Photo: Depositphotos

ConstitutionDAO was outbid by an unknown buyer at Sotheby’s auction for an original physical copy of the US Constitution.

ConstitutionDAO, a consortium of crypto investors who generated $47 million to buy a unique, first-edition copy of the US Constitution, lost their purchase bid. The failed bid took place at a Sotheby’s auction on Thursday evening, where ConstitutionDAO was outbid by an unknown buyer at $43.2 million. In light of this, according to reports, all the contributing members of ConstitutionDAO will receive reimbursement of their investment minus the transaction fee.

According to ConstitutionDAO contributor Alice Ma in a statement, all investors would be privy to an option for a refund. In addition, Ma also added 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!”

How the ConstitutionDAO Auction Initiative Came Together

ConstitutionDAO comprised an 18,800-person Discord channel, which raised $40 million in less than a week from over 17,000 ETH wallets. The now-failed bid targeted a rare and original print of the US Constitution, one of only thirteen extant copies available. Although ConstitutionDAO’s raised capital was about $4 million above the final price, the group did not stake the entire sum. One reason given was that a higher bid would not leave enough for insurance, storage, and transportation.

The entire auction process at art dealer Sotheby’s was a very high-stake event that held the internet’s attention. Furthermore, it is also an example of an emerging trend that sees a blend of highly-priced physical assets meeting spontaneous crypto purchasing power. Similar DAOs (Decentralized Autonomous Organizations) have been put together in the past to secure auction-block wins. However, they usually target quintessential digital assets such as non-fungible tokens (NFTs), which come under smart contracts ownerships.

According to the ConstitutionDAO organizers:

“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.”

In addition, according to reports, ConstitutionDAO also broke the record for the most crowdfunded funds in under seventy-two hours. This prompted the group’s organizers to also state that “while this wasn’t the outcome we hoped for, we still made history tonight with ConstitutionDAO.”

What is Next for ConstitutionDAO?

At the moment, it remains unclear where exactly the money would go next. This – especially for many group members who decide to leave their funds in the wallet. In addition, some ConstitutionDAO members are already highlighting plans to repurpose the funds towards future auctions. One of the group’s members, Liz Yang, supports the idea. According to Yang, the DAO raised the bar in its quest to achieve a set purpose. Therefore, an equal or even more laudable follow-up is necessary to justify the group’s credentials and leave no doubt whatsoever. However, Yang also added that the decision is for the whole group to decide.

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