One of 13 rare, first-edition copies of the U.S. Constitution is being auctioned by Sotheby’s on Thursday (Nov. 18) and a group of cryptocurrency investors — a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) dubbed ConstitutionDAO — is raising money in hopes of winning the auction.
Last month, a DAO known as PleasrDAO purchased a rare Wu-Tang Clan CD for $4 million that had been seized by the U.S. Department of Justice in July after being forfeited by convicted hedge fund manager Martin Shkreli.
This is the first time in 33 years that one of the surviving copies of the Official Edition from the Constitutional Convention will be publicly auctioned, and it’s the only one owned by private collectors.
The 13 surviving copies are from a printing of 500 issued for submission to the Continental Congress and for the use of the delegates to the Constitutional Convention, according to Sotheby’s.
“This is the very first appearance of the final text of the Constitution, now the longest continuing charter of government in the world,” Sotheby’s said in a description of the auction on its website.
ConstitutionDAO has raised close to $5.5 million of its $20 million goal. Although contributors won’t receive fractional ownership of the Constitution, they will instead receive a governance token that entitles the owner to offer advisement on where the historic document should be displayed.
“In the ethos and spirit of Web3, we intend to purchase The Constitution and find a home for it among the world’s finest artifacts to be preserved and enjoyed by all,” Graham Novak, one of the architects of the project, wrote on Discord. “We the people plan to preserve the document for the people.
“The ownership, of course, will reside within the DAO. We’ll fractionalize, NFT-ify, and mem-ify in the way that we do.”
The copy up for auction was purchased in 1988 for $165,000 by real estate developer S. Howard Goldman and is now owned by his widow, Dorothy Tapper Goldman. Auction proceeds will benefit the Dorothy Tapper Goldman Foundation.