Abolition in Progress: How Crypto Is Making and Reclaiming American History
Do you know what a research DAO is?
I didn’t either until I read a Bloomberg article about how the research DAO, Abolition in Progress won a bid at Sotheby’s for a major part of American history in response to another group’s attempt to purchase a rare copy of the United States Constitution.
Ameer Suhayb Carter is a developer by trade and mastermind behind Abolition in Progress. I had a quick chat with Ameer and discovered there are a lot of interesting things going on in the crypto world that’s shaping the curation and procurement of historical artifacts. Most of America and the rest of the world are clueless. I know I’m guilty but, as Crystal Kim said in Bloomberg, things can be confusing in the “intersection of cryptocurrency and collectibles”, but I’ll attempt to break it down in layman’s terms.
Let’s start with the original question: What’s a research DAO? It’s a decentralized autonomous organization or crypto crowdfund where the funds are on a blockchain inside of an established crypto network like Bitcoin or Ethereum. A research DAO is focused on exploring new and innovative projects using cryptocurrency.
In a Twitter thread, Ameer explained that the purpose of Abolition In Progress is “to kick off a funding pool for research and investment of existing and new projects within reparations, repatriation, & public goods.”
On Wednesday, November 23, 2021, Ameer won the Declaration of the Anti-Slavery Convention and paid $21,420 on behalf of Abolition in Progress and in protest to the ConstitutionDAO’s failed attempt to purchase a copy of the U.S. Constitution. According to Kim, the declaration is, “a founding document of the American abolitionist movement that was issued in 1833 at the first meeting of the American Anti-Slavery Society in Philadelphia.”
Following the win, Ameer said, “We collectively own this, but it’s not about the document, it’s about attempting to solve many of the systemic issues not just in America but worldwide. This document was a symbolic banner of that effort.”