A loosely affiliated group of history loving crypto fans have a whale of a document in their sights this week: one of the 13 surviving official copies of the 1787 U.S. Constitution, and the only one in private hands. As reported in The Wall Street Journal, this copy of the original was one printed for delegates at the Constitutional Convention and the Continental Congress more than 230 years ago, and this is the first time in 33 years one has come to market.
Just as the historical governmental decree is a representational artifact embodying democracy, the group wishing to make the purchase, ConstitutionDAO [which stands for "decentralized autonomous organization"] will pool funds that stand in for actual cash, in the form of Ethereum, for the purchase price. The estimated sale price is between $15 million and $20 million, yet the ConstitutionDAO group has only raised $5.2 million as of Tuesday morning, according to the group's website.
Instead of owning a physical portion of the important document, each donor would get a governance token conveying voting rights as to where the document is displayed, how it should be shown, and the purpose of ConstitutionDAO.
The stated goal of the group that wishes to buy the copy of the Constitution is to put this important document in the hands of the people. On its website, ConstitutionDAO states: “The eventual home must have the expertise to properly house, store, and maintain the artifact. Additionally, the community has expressed strong preferences for institutions that are free to the public and willing to cover the costs associated with housing the document.”
As the ConstitutionDAO site reads: “The following sentence may sound like the logline for an as-yet unmade National Treasure 3, but it’s very much real: A large group of crypto maximalists is banding together in an effort to obtain the actual U.S. Constitution.”