A rare, first edition of the U.S. Constitution is up for auction on November 18, and a crypto group called the ConstitutionDAO is currently raising funds to buy it.
Sotheby’s, which is conducting the auction, expects the copy to sell for between $ 15 and $ 20 million. This copy of the U.S. Constitution is an official first edition, which according to Sotheby’s is even rarer than a first edition of the 1776 Declaration of Independence.
ConstitutionDAO is an organization that was explicitly set up for the purpose of crowd-sourcing enough funds to provide a winning bid on the award. The organization retrieves the funds using ether, a cryptocurrency that runs on the ethereum blockchain. So far, ConstitutionDAO has raised over $ 4 million.
A DAO, or decentralized autonomous organization, is a protocol, essentially a set of automated rules that run in a blockchain environment. In this case, ConstitutionDAO allows individuals to buy tokens that come with “governance” regarding the fate of the constitutional copy, if DAO succeeds with its bid during Thursday’s auction.
ConstitutionDAO states that governance “includes the ability to advise (for illustrative purposes), where the Constitution is to be displayed, how it is to be exhibited, and the mission and values of ConstitutionDAO.”
Sotheby’s says the copy to be auctioned is one of 12 surviving copies of the official version of the U.S. Constitution. The copy was purchased from Sotheby’s by real estate developer S. Howard Goldman in 1988 for $ 165,000. Dorothy Tapper Goldman, Goldman’s widow, is the current owner. Proceeds from the auction will benefit the Dorothy Tapper Goldman Foundation.