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From a meme to $47 million: ConstitutionDAO, crypto, and the future of crowdfunding

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The real Constitution is the friends we made along the way

Jonah Erlich is one of the core members of a group called ConstitutionDAO, a group that raised money to try to buy one of the original copies of the United States Constitution at an auction held by the high-end auction house Sotheby’s.

Raising money on the internet is a pretty familiar idea — there are crowdfunding campaigns for everything from new products to movies to scientific research to politics. But most of the crowdfunding we’re used to happens through a central service: Kickstarter, or GoFundMe, or Indiegogo.

But the DAO in ConstitutionDAO stands for decentralized autonomous organization. Jonah and around 30 other people formed the DAO and then offered people around the world the ability to donate to it using the Ethereum blockchain. In exchange, they’d get the right to vote on what to do with this copy of the Constitution and what the organization should do in the future. And this attempt to raise money was extremely successful: ConstitutionDAO raised something like $47 million and verified enough funds with Sotheby’s to participate in the auction.

I asked Jonah to come on and explain how ConstitutionDAO got started, what happened with the […]

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