New York (CNN Business)A group of cryptocurrency investors is taking the notion “We the people” from the US Constitution to the next level. They are actually pooling money to try to buy a rare copy of the document — and they claim to have raised $40 million to do so.
Auction house Sotheby’s is planning to sell an early copy of the Constitution Thursday. A group known as Constitution DAO says they want to buy it and will partner with another entity to display it.
“The eventual home must have the expertise to properly house, store, and maintain the artifact,” Constitution DAO says on its website.
“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,” the group added.
In case you’re wondering what DAO means, it stands for “decentralized autonomous organization.” DAOs are set up using the blockchain, the backbone of bitcoin and other cryptocurrency transactions.
Investors contributing to the Constitution DAO pool have largely been using ethereum, the world’s second most valuable cryptocurrency, to pay for their chunk of the offer.
Supporters of Constitution DAO have been touting the bid on Twitter, with one super enthusiastic and patriotic poster writing a nine-tweet thread that featured the Constitution’s entire preamble in capital letters.
It’s not clear if Constitution DAO will wind up with the winning bid, but the Sotheby’s web site lists a current estimated sale price of $15 million to $20 million for the document, which is thought to be one of just thirteen copies remaining from an original printing of 500.
Cryptocurrencies are becoming increasingly popular methods of payment in the art world.
Sotheby’s, in particular, has embraced bitcoin and ethereum, or ether for short, as a way for collectors to bid on pieces of art and other items.
Earlier this year, Sotheby’s said it would accept bitcoin or ether as payment for a work by the popular street artist Banksy.
And just last week Sotheby’s announced just last week that it planned to have its auctioneer disclose real-time bid amounts in increments of ether for two other Banksy works going up for sale.
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