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Crypto investors raised $40 million to buy a copy of the US Constitution

Pipped at auction by a late bid, crypto investors were close to purchasing a rare and early copy of the US Constitution for over $40 million.

Is a practical purchase ever made using cryptocurrency?

Whether we’re talking of the multi-million dollar sales of eight bit gifs, the early year hijacking of the stock market, or how an OG dog meme became a profitable investment venture overnight, it’s safe to say crypto has fully shaken up modern marketplaces.

This week stands as further testament to that fact, as crypto buffs came close to making a purchase of both huge financial and historical significance.

Over 17,000 people donated coins to a crowdfunding effort determined to secure a rare copy of the US Constitution. In fact, the copy was one of only two in possession of a professional institution up until Thursday.

The effort, organised and orchestrated by a Twitter outfit dubbed Constitution DAO, amassed $40 million in Ethereum which it hoped would ‘put the constitution in the hands of the people.’

The 1700s document, which continues to underpin the supreme law of the US and the fibre of its government, had been valued by fine arts company Sotheby’s at between $15 million and $20 million.

Eventually, the hammer slammed down at $43 million to an anonymous shopper – the record price for a historical document.

Taking to Twitter, the crypto group conceded: ‘While this wasn’t the outcome we hoped for, we still made history tonight with Constitution DAO. 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 donated coins to the cause will now be able to claim their refunds in full minus the gas fee, which is required to complete any transaction on an Ethereum blockchain.

While, given the anarchic nature of digital currencies (and social media in general), you’d have perhaps expected the document to end up on uni freshman’s desk, Constitution DAO had reportedly planned to house it at a professional gallery where it would be properly maintained.

It’s somewhat surprising, but with the explosion of NFTs cryptocurrency is becoming more widely accepted and legitimised in the world of art. The same auction house has just revealed that digital coins will be accepted during the respective sales of two Banksy works.

Propelling into mainstream culture over the last few years, it almost seems as though radical movements using crypto are quickly serving to deracialise the concept within mainstream industries.

It’s the age old proverb of move with the times, or get left behind. Now, if someone could just get a hold of the second amendment and make some changes that’d be great.


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