The crypto bulls buying the constitution
Photo: Alexi Rosenfeld/Getty Images

The crypto bulls buying the constitution

Source Code

Good morning! This Tuesday, a blockchain group wants to buy the Constitution, Democrats think Twitter is good for democracy, and Peter Thiel's new $13 million house.

We, the people …

Would you like to partially own a first-edition copy of the U.S. Constitution? You can donate to crowd-funding site Juicebox in ether from now until Thursday afternoon for the chance. You won't actually own or probably ever possess the actual Constitution, but you will become a voting member of the ConstitutionDAO, a decentralized autonomous organization that wants to win an auction for the document at Sotheby's on Thursday.

A DAO is basically a club where members pay to have voting rights. DAOs have become a more mainstream idea as people like Mark Zuckerberg, Elon Musk and Jack Dorsey endorse and mainstream blockchain and decentralization technologies.

  • The long and more serious definition of a DAO: A group governed by a contract written in software, with decisions made by the votes of its members. Member voting power is typically proportional to the amount of money each member contributes to the DAO in the form of a token purchase. If this is confusing to you, think of shareholders in a public company voting on a merger proposal.
  • ConstitutionDAO was formed by a group of blockchain enthusiasts who would like to gather enough ether on a crowdfunding site to win the auction of the constitutional document, and then have all of the voting members of the DAO decide what should be done with the Constitution as a reflection of their values. There are only two other DAOs that have made public statements about successfully purchasing expensive objects: one that purchased a valuable Wu Tang Clan album, and another that bought a 40-acre tract of land in Wyoming.
  • Many of ConstitutionDAO's founding members and donors see the group as a grand statement about the American experience. "It's a much more participatory way to interact with history. We are going beyond museums. Everyone can choose where and how the Constitution is displayed," Will Papper, one of the DAO's founding members and the co-founder of Syndicate Protocol, told Protocol.

Thousands of donors have collectively contributed more than $5.1 million in ether for the ConstitutionDAO auction bid in just 24 hours. The group's FAQs promise that if it wins the auction, the document will be likely exhibited at a museum like the Smithsonian, and Papper hopes that eventually the constitutional copy will travel in an exhibit across the country and even globally.

This is thrilling proof of the value of blockchain technology, and an important statement about how historical artifacts should be owned collectively, some of the DAO's donors told me. But that doesn't mean it's all serious stuff.

  • The DAO has a Discord server absolutely exploding with new members and memes.
  • There are serious questions in the general channel, but for the most part, the folks on the Discord are embracing the idea that while there might be real money at stake, the fun is in the jokes about chugging the Constitution.

"We want to see history made. It leads to making big asks (Nic Cage, join us). It leads to memes proliferating the web. It leads to strangers helping each other," Alex Lieberman, the executive chairman of Morning Brew and a member of the DAO, wrote on Twitter.

— Anna Kramer (email | twitter)

A version of this story appeared on Read it here.

On the schedule

China's fintech future

How will China shape the future of fintech in the medium and long term — and what does that mean for the existing financial system? Join us at 10 a.m. Dec. 2 for a discussion about Beijing's latest moves to test the CBDC, what we know already about how the CBDC does (and doesn't) work and in-country fintech innovations we should adopt globally.


Rochelle is one of many experts working on privacy at Facebook—to give you more control over your information.

Hear from Rochelle on why Facebook supports updating regulations on the internet's most pressing challenges, including federal privacy legislation.

Learn more

People are talking

Joseph Staten, head of creative for Halo Infinite, said the game has a shot at proving that it can still be a moneymaker for Xbox:

  • "We have a chance to earn a new, larger audience for this game."

Jack Dorsey loves bitcoin, but Twitter CFO Ned Segal said the company's not investing in crypto yet:

  • "We [would] have to change our investment policy and choose to own assets that are more volatile."

Some Googlers are frustrated that the company is bidding again on Pentagon contracts, but Sundar Pichai said it's not going to change:

  • "I think we are strongly committed to working with the government in a way that's consistent with our A.I. principles."

Qualcomm would do just fine without Apple, analyst Stacy Ragson said:

  • "Frankly, revenues are getting to the point where the worry over Apple possibly moving away is much smaller."

Disability rights activist Haben Girma said disabled workers often hide their needs because they don't want to be treated unfairly:

  • "Many of those who are in the workforce feel terrified of employment discrimination."

Making moves

Twitter bought Threader, an app that lets people save and share their favorite Twitter threads. The app will shut down next month, and it'll become a part of Twitter's new subscription service.

Sam Jadallah left Apple. He ran all things HomeKit and smart home, but was only at the company for a little less than two years.

Alyssa Harvey Dawson is joining AppLovin's board. Harvey Dawson is the chief legal officer of Gusto and has worked as Alphabet Sidewalk Labs' general counsel.

Anne Laurenson is Snap's new managing director of global carrier partnerships. The ex-Google employee is the first Snap exec to lead a global team outside the U.S.

Rick McConnell is Dynatrace's new CEO. The Akamai Technologies exec will replace John Van Siclen, who's retiring next month.

Graham Smith is Splunk's interim CEO, replacing Doug Merritt, who will remain in an advisory role. Smith's been on the company's board for about a decade and has held a few leadership roles at Salesforce.

In other news

Twitter is re-opening to developers. The platform is moving over to a new API that will help developers build new tools and apps as part of an effort to create features that lead to safer online conversations.

A key Hollywood union ratified a new contract. After months of negotiations, brought on in part by how streaming has changed the movie-making business, the IATSE has a new deal designed to better protect workers.

Google created a "Fortnite task force" over concerns Epic would skirt the Play store, Bloomberg reported. Google formed the group a few years ago, right after Epic gave people a way to get Fortnite directly from its own site.

Lonely people spend much more time on Facebook than the average user, internal documents show. Researchers found that some of the platform's own products both help and hurt people who feel isolated, but it's unclear exactly what Facebook has done to address it.

Amazon settled claims that it withheld the number of COVID-19 infections from warehouse workers and local health departments. California accused Amazon of breaking a law that requires workers to be kept in the loop on the spread of COVID-19.

The Lucid Air is MotorTrend's pick for Car of the Year. The award is a sign that Lucid's first EV is living up to expectations and is proving to be a viable challenger to Tesla.

Democrats think Twitter is better for democracy than Republicans, according to Pew Research. The studies found that liberals tend to trust news from Twitter more than conservatives, and those who use Twitter for news are generally liberal.

Google is letting users rename or remove photos from Google Memories. The move comes after a push from trans and non-binary people to give people the ability to control how they view memories or if they even want to see old images.

Roblox is spending $10 million on educational video games for middle, high school and college students. The games will cover topics like robotics, space exploration, and careers and ideas in computer science and engineering.

Thiel's $13 million crib

A few months ago, former Trump official Wilbur Ross and his wife, Hilary Gear Ross, sold their mansion for $13 million. Nobody knew who the buyer was, until now: Peter Thiel, sources told POLITICO.

The 100,000-square-foot home is the most expensive plot of real estate sold in D.C. in the last year, and Thiel is getting his money's worth. The mansion includes seven bedrooms, a movie theater, a library, a kitchen and quarters for staff, and views of Rock Creek Park. And if he needs to borrow sugar, he can ask one of his new neighbors, who include Kellyanne Conway and Steve Mnuchin.


Rochelle is one of many experts working on privacy at Facebook—to give you more control over your information.

Hear from Rochelle on why Facebook supports updating regulations on the internet's most pressing challenges, including federal privacy legislation.

Learn more

Thoughts, questions, tips? Send them to, or our tips line, Enjoy your day, see you tomorrow.

Recent Issues

The best of Protocol

The confessions of SBF

Your holiday book list

A tale of two FTXs