ConstitutionDAO was a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) formed in November 2021 to purchase an original copy of the United States Constitution. The group raised $47 million in Ether cryptocurrency, but lost to a bid of $43.2 million in the Sotheby's auction. The organization was disbanded later that month.
Auction and refunds
ConstitutionDAO raised $47 million in Ether cryptocurrency, but lost to a bid of $43.2 million in the Sotheby's auction. The organizers of ConstitutionDAO believed that they would have had insufficient funding to "insure, store, and transport the document" if they had made a higher bid.
The organizers said they would refund contributions, minus Ethereum fees. Weeks after the event, around $23 million had yet to be refunded, partly due to these fees, with one contributor reported as having to pay $70 in fees to donate $200, and another $70 to get it refunded. The median contributor had donated $217 to the project, and some fees were more than the value of the donation.
The Verge put the group's effort in the lineage of Internet movements like the GameStop short squeeze earlier that year. Bloomberg News wrote that the effort "showed the power of the DAO ... has the potential to change the way people buy things, build companies, share resources and run nonprofits."
Another group of crowdfunders named ConstitutionDAO2 formed in 2022 to purchase a different copy of the original constitution, which was to be auctioned by Sotheby's. The group had only publicly raised $313,000 by the time Sotheby's postponed its December 2022 auction, though the organization had also raised private funds. The group considered an offer to buy another edition of the constitution from the same printing press.
- ^ Matthews, Karen (November 19, 2021). "Rare first printing of US Constitution sells for record $43M". AP News. Retrieved November 21, 2021.
- ^ Lee, Isabelle (November 21, 2021). "ConstitutionDAO disbands after losing its bid to buy a copy of the Constitution". Markets Insider. Retrieved January 21, 2023.
- ^ Fox, Matthew (January 19, 2022). "Tokens of the defunct DAO that failed to buy a copy of the constitution are worth $300 million even after disbanding". news.yahoo.com. Retrieved January 28, 2022.
- ^ a b c Kastrenakes, Jacob (November 18, 2021). "ConstitutionDAO loses $43 million auction of rare US Constitution copy". The Verge. Retrieved November 21, 2021.
- ^ Kastrenakes, Jacob (November 24, 2021). "Almost buying a copy of the Constitution is easy, but giving the money back is hard". The Verge.
- ^ "ConstitutionDAO Is Shutting Down After Unrelenting Chaos". www.vice.com. Retrieved March 5, 2022.
- ^ Kharif, Olga (November 20, 2021). "Crypto Crowdfunding Goes Mainstream with ConstitutionDAO Bid". Bloomberg.com.
- ^ "Citing 'Strong Institutional Interest,' Sotheby's Halted Its Sale of a Rare Copy of the U.S. Constitution Just Hours Before the Auction". Artnet News. December 15, 2022. Retrieved December 21, 2022.
- ^ Mattei, Shanti Escalante-De (December 14, 2022). "Sotheby's Sale of U.S. Constitution Is Suddenly Postponed, Causing Uncertainty for Crypto Enthusiasts". ARTnews.com. Retrieved December 21, 2022.
- Patel, Nilay (December 7, 2021). "From a meme to $47 million: ConstitutionDAO, crypto, and the future of crowdfunding". The Verge. Retrieved December 14, 2021.
- Roose, Kevin (November 17, 2021). "They Love Crypto. They're Trying to Buy the Constitution". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331.