The only known privately-owned copy of the US Constitution is up for sale and a collection of cryptocurrency fans (and, let’s be real, possible National Treasure-lovers) are pooling their resources to try and buy it.
According to the group, called ConstitutionDAO, its goal is to put the copy “in the hands of the people”.
At this point it hasn’t explicitly explained how this will happen, though on its website it say it’s currently “seeking an esteemed partner to publicly display the Constitution.”
The eventual home of the document must “have the expertise to properly house, store and maintain the artefact,” which is nice.
There are 13 known copies of the Constitution, and this is the only one owned privately. It was bought by a woman called Dorothy Goldman back in 1988.
One of the group’s organisers Alice Ma told the Sydney Morning Herald “we’re going to stop it from going into more private hands and actually open-source it, make it a public good.”
It’ll be auctioned on the 18th of November by Sotheby’s, who is predicting a sale price of up to $US20 million (around AU$27.5 million).
The group has already raised 90 per cent of its US$45 million goal, which translates into 10, 580 Ether – its cryptocurrency of choice.
The whole situation is really giving “I’m going to steal the declaration of independence”, but make it 2021.
In the first 24 hours of its campaign ConstitutionDAO raised US$4.5 million worth of crypto, which is, frankly, an impressive feat.
Also, its Twitter presence deserves a shout-out too: it has a National Treasure-era pic of Nicholas Cage as its icon, and an It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia-style title card “We’re All Gonna Buy The Constitution” as its header. This is called knowing your audience.
For those whose understanding of cryptocurrency is limited to Elon Musk’s Twitter threads and people mansplaining Dogecoin, a DAO is a “decentralised autonomous organisation”. Basically, it’s a group or organisation where membership is recorded on a blockchain. On that blockchain, members can buy things collectively and vote on decisions.
As explained by Forbes, generally, you buy your way into these groups using crypto, often in the form of a currency token.
If the ConstitutionDAO campaign is successful, it would be the biggest ever purchase by a DAO.
And if a collective of meme-lords can own the Constitution, perhaps we could see the rise of crypto to buy other precious artefacts, like a copy of Kylie Minogue’s birth certificate, or a tissue used by Harry Styles.