US Constitution Up for Auction
Today, there is an auction to be held in which the US Constitution will be offered for sale.
Well, a rare print of the original, anyway.
This particular rare print dates back to 1787, just 11 years after the original Constitution was written and the United States of America formally became a single nation, upon which success, liberty, enviable lifestyle and endless opportunities were built.
The print, which is in perfect condition, is scheduled to go under the hammer at prestigious auction house Sotheby’s today, November 18, 2021, however the method of bidding so far in the pre-auction stage has become fascinating to say the least!
This incredibe, authentic print of the US Constitution may well be almost as old as the country itself, but the method by which a huge number of donations have been made in the run-up to the auction is far from old. In fact, it’s cutting edge.
So far, over $29 million in cryptocurrency donations have been received via a decentralized finance (DeFi) crowdfunding group which has been set up under the name ConstitutionDAO, whose aim, according to its organizers, is to ‘place the US Constitution back into the hands of the people’ in some kind of democratization effort which sees the crowd aim to win the auction, rather than have this rare official artefact sold to an individual highest bidder via the traditional method and potentially be taken out of the country and kept as an investment.
It appears that ConstitutionDAO sees it as more than an investment opportunity, instead viewing it as a chance to demonstrate the power of the decentralized marketplace in ensuring that pieces of milestone history in the founding of nations such as this are kept within the people’s ownership.
DAO is an acronym which means “Decentralized Autonomous Organization” and specifically refers to crowdfunded efforts via cryptocurrency settlement and payment methodology.
According to the BBC in the United Kingdom, home of Sotheby’s auctions, the idea is to enable individuals to come together to make purchases and share ownership, with their transactions and operating rules recorded on the blockchain – the same underlying technology on which cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum run.
The only anomaly here is the question of who will actually own this particular print of the US Constitution should ConstitutionDAO manage to make the winning bid.
In this particular circumstance, ConstitutionDAO was established just one week ago, and is soliciting for funding in Ethereum in order to attempt to be the winning bidder.
Rather similarly to the ability to own fractions of digital coins, it currently is being estimated that should ConstitutionDAO win the auction, each contributor to the funding effort would own a fraction of the print of the US Constitution.
This may sound bizarre, however this is one of just 13 prints of the US Constitution that are known to survive from an original print run of 500 back in the 1780s, all of which went to print after the text was settled at the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
ConstitutionDAO set up a website in order to promote this as a ‘governance token’, stating the site could be used to “advise” on “where the constitution should be displayed, how it should be exhibited, and the mission and values of ConstitutionDAO, and that if the auction is won, the group would restructure the ownership in line with the decentralized values of ConstitutionDAO.
Currently, the funded amount remains in the hands of ConstitutionDAO, ready to make payment should it be the winning bidder, however ConstitutionDAO has promised refunds if outbid.
This is a very interesting scenario indeed, and represents yet another example of how DeFi is able to change the way all manner of valuable assets are purchased and distributed. In a way, it could be regarded as the first step toward the people being able to own important pieces of historic documentation, key realestate, or entire stores of value that would otherwise end up in the hands of one member of the elite.
It’s capitalism alright, but one with a social conscience.
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