A group of so-called “internet friends” have pooled millions of dollars in cryptocurrency in an attempt to buy a rare piece of history.
According to CNBC, ConstitutionDAO (decentralized autonomous organization) have surpassed their original fundraising goal of $20 million to bid on a first-edition copy of the U.S. Constitution. The document, which is said to be one of 13 surviving copies in the world, will go up for auction at Sotheby’s later this week. The auction house previously predicted the item would fetch anywhere between $15 million to $20 million.
“We intend to put The Constitution in the hands of The People,” the ConstitutionDAO website reads.
ConstitutionDAO reportedly began with just 10 friends and quickly evolved into an 8,000-person Discord channel. The group, primarily made up of cryptocurrency investors, raised $26,897,214 in ether as of press time. One ether—worth about $4,600—purchases 1 million governance tokens, which effectively gives the donor a say in how the property is handled.
Per the group’s website:
ConstitutionDAO is seeking an esteemed partner to publicly display the Constitution. The eventual home must have the expertise to properly house, store, and maintain the artifact. Additionally, the community has expressed strong preferences for institutions that are free to the public and willing to cover the costs associated with housing the document.
If the group manages to buy the document, its members will then vote on where and how to display it. According to CNBC, the group will likely return the funds back to the donors if they fail to secure the winning bid.
“We have a long path ahead of us, but we’re feeling really optimistic,” said ConstitutionDAO member Adrienne Young. “If we lose the auction, our primary plan is to refund the contributions. We have some mechanisms in place for this — we’re receiving contributions through Juicebox right now, and they’re able to issue refunds should we lose. We’re also a DAO, so this will be put to a vote by the community, and it’s possible that another path will be chosen, such as bidding on another historical artifact or donating the money to a charity.”
The first-edition copy of the U.S. Constitution will be auctioned off at 6:30 p.m. EST Thursday. You can learn more about the lot here.