Did I Just Buy the U.S. Constitution?
Updated: Nov 29, 2021
Not yet...but give it a few days
So I did something pretty cool this morning. I contributed money (actually Ethereum) into a DAO (Decentralized Autonomous Organization) that is trying to buy the last privately held copy of the U.S. Constitution. I didn't know this but there are currently 11 copies of the U.S. Constitution, with only one that is held privately. On Thursday that last private copy is going to auction and my goal is to say I’m an owner. So how is this all working?
From the ConstitutionDAO website, the organization putting this bid for the Constitution together:
“ConstitutionDAO is a DAO that is pooling together money to win this auction. We intend to put The Constitution in the hands of The People”
“Why is it a DAO? In short: so the people own it. Together.”
“Decentralization of cryptocurrency (web3) has created structures that allow people to self-govern with unparalleled levels of autonomy and freedom. It’s fitting that we use this technology to honor and protect the greatest historical tool for human governance: The US Constitution”
I’ve been working on a much longer piece about NFT’s, crypto and the entire metaverse / Web3 revolution taking place in front of our eyes. It’s an exercise of deep learning, experimentation and quite honestly fun - and it's something I want to do somewhat publicly. This is meant to be a glimpse into what I’m working on and learning along the way. The U.S. Constitution felt like the best way to bridge gaps for those who are still learning (as am I, trust me!) about this entirely new space. I’ve been investing in crypto, NFT’s and using digital wallets, but this is my first jump into the world of DAO’s. And I’m excited to see where it takes me.
My enthusiasm for crpto / web3 / metaverse shifted this year in late Spring or early Summer. I started to pay more attention to the folks who didn’t feel like they were selling, or even worse manipulating, the crypto market. They genuinely were teaching and educating the public of what was happening. Instead of taking every negative news story and saying "Bitcoin fixes this" (which it didnt), these folks were sharing more about the technology advancements. My biggest takeaway as I dove in is that crypto was much more than a monetary use case, it was a technological advancement that had many current use cases and even bigger future upside. The technology use case far outweighed the monetary use case, a new concept for me.
Since then I've been dabbling in crypto and NFT's, but wasn't getting as excited about NFT projects as others were. Yet when I first learned about the bid to potentially buy a copy of the U.S. Constitution I was immediately hooked. Two totally opposite worlds colliding in front of our eyes. You have this new Web3 universe (crypto, DAO’s, decentralized EVERYTHING) coming together with the document our country is built upon. Being a huge history buff brought the Web3 world that was hard to grasp at times into something more tangible and approachable. It simplified more complex issues and structures, especially as it relates to a DAO.
We now have this amazing intersection of the founding of our country almost 250 years ago with the next generation of technology / finance / corporate governance all coming together - how could you not want to be a part of it?
So what's the goal of a project like this? To be honest, having the ability to say “I own a piece of the U.S. Constitution” is something that is so cool to me it’s probably the main driver, even though that may not technically be true. This also felt like an opportunity to really dive into what’s going on in Web3 while doing it with something I’m totally interested in and passionate about. This shapes up to be a perfect learning experience to dabble in the world of DAO’s since I’ve already dipped my toes into crypto and NFT’s.
Lastly is the community aspect of NFT and the DAO community. Many people who have dove into the NFT space (again I’ve dipped my toe, no dives) rave about the community aspect. This hasn’t resonated with me as much - I never was big into online communities and when you're starting a business with three young kids there isn’t a lot of time spent talking to strangers online. Being part of a DAO feels different, and if we are able to actually buy the Constitution at auction on Thursday, I’m curious to see how this community comes together. And even though I’ll be a small part of it, I can’t wait to see how it plays out first hand - both for the Constitution's sake, but also to see the inner workings of a self-governed DAO community.
So as I write this the answer is no, I do not currently own a copy of the U.S. Constitution. But I sure hope that changes by Friday. This isn’t an investment to me (it's also not a meaningful amount that would effect my families future), but a way to genuinely and passionately participate in the future of finance. And because it just feels so cool to be a part of. I’ll keep you updated on how things play out and I hope when I do give you an update the answer to the question -“Did I (we) just buy the U.S. Constitution?” is a resounding YES!
If you’re interested in participating or learning more about what I’m doing - please don’t hesitate to reach out. I'm working on a curated list of podcasts, bloggers, podcast episodes, twitter personalities etc. to hopefully help anyone interested make sense of the inevitable future.
Written by: Ryan Bouchey