A DAO is Set to Bid on Last Privately Held Copy of US Constitution

The constitutionDAO, a decentralized autonomous organization, is raising funds to place a bid on the last privately held copy of the US Constitution.


Source: Sotheby’s


key takeaways

  • For the first time in 33 years, one of the 11 surviving copies of the Official Edition from the Constitutional Convention will be auctioned by Sotheby’s
  • The auction will take place on Nov. 18 at 6:30 pm ET, with a starting bid of $15 million to $20 million

Sotheby’s will be auctioning off the last privately held copy of the US Constitution on November 18 and a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) has formed in an attempt to purchase it.

The document was last purchased for $165,000 in 1988 by S. Howard Goldman, according to a Reuters article. His wife, Dorothy Tapper Goldman, will be sending all of the proceeds from the sale to the charitable foundation established in her name to further the public’s understanding of democracy, the auction house said.

This is one of the last known copies of the Official Edition of the Constitution surviving 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 the auction details on Sotheby’s website

“The Goldman Constitution ranks as one of the most rare and coveted historical documents that has ever come to auction,” Selby Kiffer, senior specialist in Sotheby’s books and manuscripts department, said in a statement.

The constitutionDAO launched on Friday, Nov. 12, shortly after Sotheby’s announced the auction. Their Discord has grown to over 8,800 members in just three days and has raised over $3.25 million since launching their funding portal on Sunday, Nov. 14, around 9:00 pm ET. 

Funds raised by the constitutionDAO as of press time; Source: Dune Analytics

“The purchase of the Constitution by a decentralized organization represents the evolution of one dominant governance structure to another. Almost 250 years after its inception, we see this as a symbolic passing of a torch, the mark of a new era,” said Graham Novak, a constitutionDAO contributor. “But the changing of the guard nears as we wade into the unknowns of decentralized governance.“

The president of FTX US, Brett Harrison, confirmed that they will assist in converting the crypto raised into dollars to help facilitate the purchase of the Constitution. Sotheby’s has agreed to accept the ETH balance raised by the DAO as proof of funds, according to an announcement made in the DAO’s discord. 

The DAO intends to find a home for the artifact in a museum for the first year after purchase, with the aim to introduce a voting structure for DAO members to decide where to preserve it and other artifacts to purchase in the future. 

Contributions can be seen and made on juicebox.money. Users are able to write messages along with their pledged donations. A donator of .2 ETH, or roughly $920, recently wrote: 

The power of DAOs is just beginning to unfold. Just this morning, 10,000 citizen NFTs of CityDAO on Ethereum sold out. The organization used the proceeds to buy a 40-acre plot in Wyoming, and the contributors will jointly plan and govern activities relating to the land going forward. 

The news comes after Vitalik Buterin, co-founder of Ethereum, wrote about the potential of crypto cities and the important role that DAOs will play in the future.

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