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Buying the Constitution on the Internet (with a Dao)

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Things happen, which as it was said in Blade Runner, we humans would never have imagined. Today a large auction house will sell one of the 13 remaining copies of the United States Constitution of 1787 and will probably be bought by a strange company, or association, or community of people who don’t even know each other.

They have made a kind of collection on the Internet using a new tool that has been hardly heard of until now. It is called Dao and stands for Decentralized Autonomous Organization: in fact it is like a digital community with a shared current account. As if it were a company whose statute and operating rules are written on the blockchain, the technology behind cryptocurrencies. In fact, it’s a way to quickly raise money on a project. The Constitution Dao project is to win the copy of the United States Constitution purchased thirty-three years ago by real estate developer Howard Goldman for $ 165,000. Meanwhile the owner died (in 1997) and the widow finally decided to auction the document which has a starting price of 15 million dollars. That’s a lot of money, but within a few hours, using various social platforms and some successful memes (like Nicholas Cage who in a famous film deals with the theft of the Declaration of Independence), Constitution Dao raised $ 40 million (using the Ethereum cryptovaluta).

Why did thousands of people join? What will they get in return? A copy of the Constitution? No, a governance token, that is the right to have their say on how and where the copy of the Constitution will be on display. As if they were small shareholders of a company. But it only exists on the Internet. With public rules and a checking account that everyone can check. I don’t know how the auction will go, but Constitution Dao is yet another sign of a new world that already exists.

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