Crypto bid to buy US constitution copy at auction fails

A cryptocurrency group has lost in its efforts to buy a rare copy of the US constitution at auction.

The group – ConstitutionDAO – said it planned “to put the constitution in the hands of the people”.

It had amassed more than $40m worth of donations through crowd-funding.

But the document instead sold to another buyer for $43.2 million (£32m) at Sotheby’s on Thursday, in what the auction house said was a record price for a historical document.

The donors will now have all of their money returned, according to a statement from the group on Twitter.

Published in 1787, there are 13 known copies to have survived from a run of 500 originally printed after the text was settled at the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

The copy is one of only two not held in the collection of an institution, according to Sotheby’s.

The auction house had estimated the copy to be worth $15m to $20m.

The identity of the new buyer is not known.

Proceeds of the auction will go to the Dorothy Tapper Goldman Foundation – a non-profit group that works to promote understanding of democracy.

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