Crypto group loses bid to buy U.S. constitution

A group of cryptocurrency enthusiasts have failed in their bid to buy a first edition copy of the U.S. Constitution.

The extremely rare document sold for $43.2 million dollars at a Sotheby's auction on Thursday.

The identity of the winning bidder was not immediately clear, nor was it clear why the cryptocurrency group, called "ConstitutionDAO" was outbid at that price.

Their crowdfunding page had quickly amassed more than $47 million, or 11,600 of the cryptocurrency Ether.

ConstitutionDAO took to Twitter to concede defeat:

"Community: We did not win the bid," it said, promising to refund more than 17,000 contributors to the fund.

If they had succeeded, contributors would not have had any stake in the valuable document but, instead, would have been given so-called 'governance tokens' to advise on what happened to it.

The document they missed out on is one of 11 known existing copies from the official first printing of the U.S. Constitution, which was adopted by America's founding fathers in Philadelphia in 1787.

It last sold for $165,000 in 1988.

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