Constitution DAO was an experiment that has now been dissolved. In November 2021, a group web3-enthusiasts gathered as a decentralized autonomous organization with the shared objective of buying a copy of the U.S. Constitution at a Sotheby’s Auction. There are only 13 original physical copies of the U.S Constitution in existence, which meant that this auction sparked a competitive bidding battle. Even though the group managed to raise well over $40 million in ETH, it ultimately fell short and was outbid by Ken Griffin, a billionaire hedge fund manager and CEO of Citadel.

Constitution DAO announced that it would disband after its unsuccessful grassroots attempt to buy one of the most valuable and iconic documents in U.S. history. All donations are being refunded.

Who Are the Founders of Constitution DAO?
Constitution DAO did not have a single source of origin, but can instead be seen as an evolution to the grassroots fundraising movements that led to the rise of meme coins like Dogecoin and Shiba Inu. The DAO raised more than $47 million from 17,000+ donors in just a few days, with a median donation size of $206. It also sparked a viral Twitter movement that cheered on the DAO’s efforts with memes. Key contributors to the DAO were Brian Wagner and Liminal Warmth.

What Makes Constitution DAO Unique?
Constitution DAO was another instance of an internet-based grassroots movement taking on establishment symbols with the help of cryptocurrencies. Similar to what happened with GameStop, Constitution DAO channeled the virtual power of the masses to only narrowly miss out on making real-world history.

The DAO published its first tweet on November 12, only six days before the Sotheby’s auction on November 18. The copy of the Constitution was the last remaining privately-owned copy, and the first time a copy of the Constitution went on sale in 33 years. Within hours, the DAO’s Discord server grew several thousand people strong and eventually reached 20,000 members within a little over a week.

Relying on a mix of Nicolas Cage memes, inspired by a movie in which Cage is trying to steal the Constitution, and the crypto-specific (x,x) meme first popularized by Olympus (OHM), the attempt quickly went viral on Crypto Twitter. The DAO used Juicebox to receive donations in Ether and collected a sum north of $47 million, which would have easily been enough to win the auction, had it not been for the auction house fees and storage costs for the document that were not accounted for by the DAO. Ironically, Ken Griffin, a declared opponent of Bitcoin, won the auction.

In the aftermath of this saga, Constitution DAO announced it would dissolve as it had planned in case of failure from the very beginning. It cited technical and administrative requirements as reasons for doing so, and donations can be reclaimed for an indefinite period of time via the project’s website.