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Crypto currency donors face $1.4mln in fees for failed bid

written by Bella Palmer
crypto-currency

Despite being unsuccessful, due to the fact the group were using digital money called ether, individuals will still have to pay charges for donating their money and then receiving a refund

A group of 17,000 people who failed in their attempt to buy a rare copy of the US Constitution are now facing more than $1.4 million in crypto fees.

The crowd-funding effort made headlines for trying to purchase one of only 13 known surviving copies of the US charter at an auction in New York last week, but the group lost to a billionaire who bid $US43 million for the document.

Despite being unsuccessful, due to the fact the group were using digital money called ether, individuals will still have to pay charges for donating their money and then receiving a refund.

Ether calls the costs a “gas” fee, and they pay for executing the computer transactions that are essential to moving the digital money, its platform said.

Crypto prices are volatile, but as of Friday’s value the donors had collectively lost some 199.5 ether or about $US850,000 to donate and another 38.4 ether or roughly $US163,000 on refunds, according to Dune Analytics tracking.

The outcome shows the challenges that come with using crypto currency for routine financial transactions.

But members of the crypto currency consortium ConstitutionDAO remained positive about their efforts.

We made history and showed the entire world that a group of internet friends can face a seemingly insurmountable goal and achieve incredible results on an impossible timeline, it wrote on Twitter as the group disbanded.

The group said it was the first decentralised autonomous organisation that auction house Sotheby’s had ever worked with and that it broke records for the most money crowdfunded in less than 72 hours.

The organisation raised more than $US40 million from 17,437 donors who kicked in a median of $206.26 each.

The amount of fees will depend on how much each person donated.

The copy of the Constitution signed on September 17, 1787 at Philadelphia’s Independence Hall by America’s founding fathers, including George Washington, was the only known copy that is privately owned.

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