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ConstitutionDAO Looks to Acquire Rare Copy of U.S. Constitution After $3M Funding Round

2 mins
Updated by Ryan James
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In Brief

  • ConstitutionDAO has raised over 600 ETH to bid for a rare copy of the U.S. Constitution.
  • The bid will be hosted at New York Sotheby’s auction on Nov. 18, 2021.
  • All proceeds will go to a foundation established by the current private owner.
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ConstitutionDAO looks to share ownership of a rare U.S. government document if it wins Sotheby’s auction.

ConstitutionDAO has raised $3,110,146.25, or 668.705 ETH via a crowdfunding campaign to bid for a rare first edition printed copy of the U.S. Constitution as ratified by delegates to the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia in 1787. ConstitutionDAO wants “to put The Constitution in the hands of The People,” according to its website. ConstitutionDAO pledged that if it gets sold the document at the auction, it will share ownership with fundraisers. It is an interesting contrast to how many works of art previously fell into the hands of wealthy individuals, who were the only ones who could afford them, thereby centralizing the ownership of items that should have a more accessible cultural utility. 

ConstitutionDAO has created a $PEOPLE token that will commensurately be allocated to fundraisers based on the size of their donations. This will determine how much of a say a fundraiser has in what to do with the document. Potential plans include making an NFT of the document and donating it to the Smithsonian. ConstitutionDAO will refund fundraisers should they lose the bid.

Details of Sotheby’s Sale

Constitution DAO will donate proceeds of the Sotheby’s auction to a charity run by the wife of Howard S. Goldman, the deceased New York realtor, and the previous buyer of the document in 1988. Sotheby’s has estimated the price it will sell for is between $15M and $20M. The late Mr. Goldman was a collector of antique land deeds and grants, which he used to give clients as gifts. The copy of the Constitution up for auction is the only one in private hands. The six-page document is going up for sale with a list of the ratifying delegates attending the 1787 convention, and a letter of submission by George Washington, who chaired the convention.

According to Sotheby’s, the Goldman copy would sell at a New York sales event on November 18, together with fine art pieces.

What is a DAO?

Recently, PleasrDAO acquired a Wu-Tang album from the U.S. government for $4M, which was minted as an NFT. A DAO is a decentralized autonomous organization is an organization where there are no human leaders, the institution is self-governing, with the governance codified in self-executing smart contracts. All a member of the DAO needs to do if they have a dispute is to examine the rules in the organizational governance coded in the smart contract. Some issues which can develop out of DAOs include coding bugs, and poorly-developed proposals made by members.

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David Thomas
David Thomas graduated from the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal in Durban, South Africa, with an Honors degree in electronic engineering. He worked as an engineer for eight years, developing software for industrial processes at South African automation specialist Autotronix (Pty) Ltd., mining control systems for AngloGold Ashanti, and consumer products at Inhep Digital Security, a domestic security company wholly owned by Swedish conglomerate Assa Abloy. He has experience writing software in C,...