Crypto fans' gambit to buy Constitution blows up in their face — they owe $1 million in transaction fees
Bitcoin in hand of a businessman. (Shutterstock)

On Monday, Axios reported that over 17,000 cryptocurrency enthusiasts who unsuccessfully pooled their money to buy a rare and valuable copy of the U.S. Constitution have won a consolation prize. Specifically, a cumulative $1 million in transaction fees.

"The ConstitutionDAO group used Ethereum to build its war chest, and contributors paid 'gas fees' — essentially, network transaction costs — that observers estimated to run about $50 per transaction," reported Scott Rosenberg. "That didn't mean much to big-ticket participants, but took a big bite out of smaller contributors. The median contribution size was a little over $200, according to the ConstitutionDAO site. Participants in the bid collectively spent nearly $1 million on the gas fees, according to one estimate."

According to the report, cryptocurrency supporters defend the whole affair, noting that credit card companies also charge fees of up to 5 percent for large transactions.

Ultimately, ConstitutionDAO raised $47 million for their bid, but were outcompeted by hedge fund billionaire Ken Griffin.