A Beeple Moment for DAOs
What a headline!
I spent a lot of hours following this story and participating in ConstitutionDAO last week. While it looked a bit silly, something important happened here.
My take is that this was a worthy attempt at manufacturing a Beeple Moment for DAOs that ultimately fell short, but made significant progress. Let me explain.
A Beeple Moment, as defined by me: a story that gets picked up in traditional media that educates the mainstream audience on a new web3 concept.
The first one happened with Beeple Everydays. At the start of this year, VERY few people know what an NFT was. Then on March 11th, his ‘Everydays’ NFT sold for $69m at Christie’s auction house. The story was picked up by many mainstream publications include a NY Times headline of “JPG File Sells for $69 Million”. Who’s not going to read that?! Since this event, NFTs have become a much more broadly understood concept in the mainstream, which has drawn in many more entrepreneurs and investors into the space.
DAOs (decentralized autonomous organizations) are as big of an idea as NFTs yet newer and not as understood.
What happened last week is that a team of friends working in web3 created ConstitutionDAO which raised $47m from 17k donors to purchase the constitution from a Sotheby’s auction. This was the largest crowdfund for a physical object ever and became the talk of the town in web3. The bid lost however to the most typical adversary, an old billionaire finance insider.
Unfortunately the story died down from there so I don’t think it was quite the Beeple Moment we had hoped for.
However, I’m convinced major progress was made. This experience really solidified my belief in the power and potential of DAOs. Here’s what I gained from this 1 week being part of this:
Community: I found a community of like-minded people interested in a cause that I am too. There are 20k members in the discord full of idealists and activists on the frontier of exploring new models of organizing people with web3 tools.
Learning: On the technical side, I learned more about how investment DAOs work and the tools used. Also, I learned more about the Constitution. There were resources and opinions shared, and even a public reading of the document which is important because The Constitution is the supreme law of the most successful experiment of self-governance in history.
Teaching: During all this, my family asked WTF am I talking about and I had an opportunity to teach them about DAOs. This checked the box of one of the underlying missions for the group.
Fun Story: Probably most importantly, this was so fun and exciting to participate in. I was part of a team attempting to do something historic. The live auction was hysterical. Here’s what it looked like with 8k+ people watching the endless stream of 'gm’ and ‘WAGBTC’ (we are gonna buy the constitution)
For me, this was about a social experience not a financial one. It was a very human sense of belonging, contribution, and excitement.
So for that, the many hours and 0.01788 ETH contribution has been well worth it.
The journey to the mainstream continues!
Have a great Thanksgiving weekend.