Crypto investors raise $3m to buy rare copy of Constitution

‘We intend to put The Constitution in the hands of The People’ says the group

Helen Elfer
Monday 15 November 2021 23:39 GMT
Auction US Constitution
Auction US Constitution (Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

A group of crypto investors is pooling funds to buy a rare copy of the US Constitution, which is expected to fetch up to $20m at auction.

The document, which is to be sold at Sotheby’s on Thursday is a first-edition printed copy of the US constitution, one of just 11 surviving copies from a 500-print run in 1787.

It’s the only one still in private hands, while all of the other copies are owned by institutions, reports CNN.

ConstitutionDAO, a decentralised autonomous organisation, has so far raised 830 ether worth more than $3.7m in its efforts to buy it. If the group is successful in its bid, it says it plans to preserve and protect the document, and hopes to find a home for it somewhere like the Smithsonian, according to its website.

“We intend to put The Constitution in the hands of The People,” it said, adding “The ConstitutionDAO will govern future decisions around destination, preservation, as well as plans for purchasing other historical artifacts.”

This copy of the US Constitution was bought for $165,000 in 1988 when it was acquired by the late S Howard Goldman, a New York real estate developer. His wife, Dorothy Tapper Goldman, is now selling it and has said all proceeds will go to the charitable foundation established in her name, to further the public’s understanding of democracy according to Sotheby’s.

Sotheby’s estimates the document will sell for $15m to $20m.

Explaining the decision to purchase the item, ConstitutionDAO ‘s website stated: “We believe that The US Constitution is a shared good and should be shared and displayed in public spaces – by the people whose governance and freedom it was created to protect. By purchasing it with a DAO, we distribute the responsibility among many, and provide the infrastructure to keep the Constitution preserved.”

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