ConstitutionDAO fell short in its bid to purchase the last remaining privately owned first edition print copy of the U.S. Constitution in a public auction held on Nov. 18. And some of the community’s members are grumbling that high gas fees may have been partly to blame.
Although the community raised about $47M, the document was sold to an unknown bidder for $41M ($43.2M including auction fees). Supporters speculated that the DAO lost because it couldn’t produce enough additional funds to maintain the document. Others said the DAO may have made a stronger bid if it had used a Layer 2 blockchain instead of Ethereum’s mainnet.
“The gas fees spent would have made up the difference of winning the auction,” said Dennis Hegstad, the founder of LiveRecorder founder.
This version of the U.S. founding charter is one of thirteen surviving copies printed after the Constitutional Convention of 1787. The late real estate developer Howard Goldman purchased it from Sotheby’s in 1988 for $165,000.
Proceeds from the auction went to the Dorothy Tapper Goldman Foundation, which was founded by Howard Goldman’s widow in 2018 and provides scholarship funding for constitutional studies and the preservation of rare documents from U.S. revolutionary history.
ConstitutionDAO began as a lofty idea concocted by a small group of crypto enthusiasts that quickly grew into a thriving Discord channel boasting more than 8,000 members in less than one week. It cast a