Crypto Collective Loses Uncommon Copy of U.S. Structure Provide To Hedge Fund Mogul – CNET

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One group raised $ 40 million in crypto but was unable to purchase a copy of the U.S. founding document.

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A hastily formed group of crypto enthusiasts were on the verge of purchasing a first edition of the U.S. Constitution but failed to secure the document, which was bought by a hedge fund CEO for $ 43.2 million.

The thrill of an auction, the last Sotheby’s held on Thursday night, started at $ 30 million and rose rapidly, alternating between crypto group ConstitutionDAO and another bidder later identified as hedge fund billionaire Ken Griffin. It wasn’t immediately clear who had won the auction conducted over the phone, and the crypto group initially claimed victory in an audio chat on Twitter Space.

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That excitement dissipated, however, when the group discovered that they had not prevailed because they did not have enough reserves to maintain the document on an ongoing basis.

“While this wasn’t the result we were hoping for, we made history with ConstitutionDAO tonight,” the group said in a statement tweeted after the auction. “We are so incredibly grateful that we have achieved this together with all of you and are still in shock that we have made it this far in the first place.”

The next day, Sotheby’s confirmed that Griffin, the founder and CEO of Citadel, had won the bid. Griffin plans to loan the document to the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas.

While it didn’t win, ConstitutionDAO’s efforts set a high profile example of cryptocurrency crowdfunding. The group got together in less than a week, leaving unanswered questions like where the document is being viewed or who it belongs to. Known as the decentralized autonomous organization, the DAO managed membership fees through automated code sets that run on a blockchain, a distributed record of transactions.

What initially looked like financial performance art with its own insider memes and hashtags quickly turned into a serious tender. By Thursday morning, the group had raised more than $ 40 million, double the high end of the $ 15 million to $ 20 million range that Sotheby’s had valued the document, one of only 13 surviving copies of the American Core Principles.

Sotheby’s conducted the auction on behalf of Dorothy Tapper Goldman, widow of New York real estate developer S. Howard Goldman, who bought the copy of the Constitution for $ 165,000 in 1988. Proceeds from the sale will go to the Dorothy Tapper Goldman Foundation, which “will promote understanding of our democracy and how the actions of all citizens can make a difference.”

The offer of the DAO will certainly familiarize many people with ether, which, along with Bitcoin, is one of the two most important cryptocurrencies in the world. ConstitutionDAO raised money for its offering in the cryptocurrency that runs on the Ethereum blockchain. Two other lots at Sotheby’s – Banksy’s Trolley Hunters and Love Is In The Air – were held in ether alongside conventional currency.

The rules for a DAO are automated, a design designed to make them transparent and to create trust between a group of potentially strangers. The rules allow everything from fundraising to decision making to be done by general consensus.

The purchase of ConstitutionDAO isn’t the first time a crypto collective has expressed an interest in purchasing an expensive artifact. In October, a group called PleasrDAO announced they had bought Once Upon a Time in Shaolin, a single-copy album by the hip-hop heavyweights Wu-Tang Clan that once belonged to “pharmaceutical brother” Martin Shkreli. Previously, PleasrDAO purchased an NFT created by Edward Snowden for $ 5.5 million.

Nearly 17,500 donors contributed to ConstitutionDAO, averaging $ 206.26 in size. Participants can have their contributions reimbursed minus network charges.

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