ConstitutionDAO Loses Bid to Buy an Original Constitution Draft – Winners Paid $47M

Not since the Constitution was drafted in 1787 was there as much drama around a single document. 

A Sotheby’s auction Thursday night saw a gaggle of private collectors square off against a blockchain-based gang of 18,000 crypto-fans. They all wanted to bid on one of only 13 original drafts of the U.S. Constitution still in existence. It was 1-of-2 not yet secured in a collection. 

The aforementioned investor collective called itself the ConstitutionDAO, which stands for decentralized autonomous organization (DAO). A DAO is built on a blockchain and all decisions are made through an automated system of computer programming to eliminate emotion and corruption from human decision making. However, the DAO members also invest in the system to earn “governance tokens” that empower those vested members the right to contribute to the gestalt via crowdsourcing.  

The ConstitutionDAO was able to raise $40 million in a matter of weeks to achieve its goal of buying its own first edition of the Constitution, but that wasn’t enough to seal the deal. Since the DAO lost the auction, the aggregated funds are assumedly still held by the ConstitutionDAO digital vault. It’s not clear how or if those funds will be allocated back to the donors.

On The Flipside

  • While this was an awe-inspiring display of solidarity around a single vision, it raises the question of whether this type of construct could be used for evil.
  • Could terrorist states or splinter cells band together to buy weapons of mass destruction of deadly biologics?
  • These are potential unintended consequences of an otherwise unassuming technology.

Why You Should Care?

DAOs could possibly be programmed to cater to a negative mob mentality just as easily as it does to an altruistic charity. This is one aspect of blockchain that we should all pay attention to.


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    This article is for information purposes only and should not be considered trading or investment advice. Nothing herein shall be construed to be financial legal or tax advice. Trading Forex, cryptocurrencies, and CFDs poses a considerable risk of loss


    Tor Constantino is a former journalist, consultant and current corporate comms executive with an MBA degree and 25+ years of experience - writing about cryptocurrencies and blockchain since 2017. His writing has appeared across the web on Entrepreneur, Forbes, Fortune, CEOWorld and Yahoo!. Tor's views are his own and do not reflect those of his current employer.