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Australia’s initial covid-zero recovery has been derailed by the delta variant, which has split the nation in two. Lockdowns in Sydney and Melbourne, home to more than half of GDP, are likely to see the economy shrink substantially in 3Q. Vaccination thresholds hold the key to a gradual the easing of restrictions through 4Q. The reintegration of currently covid-zero regions with the rest of the economy could damp the recovery in 1H22.
Interest rates are likely to remain on hold well into 2024, but policy tightening is likely via other channels. The RBA has tapered its bond purchases, with the move realigning the pace of buying to lower-than-expected bond supply. Surging house prices are likely to stoke a macro-prudential policy response from regulators once the pace of credit growth accelerates.
A group of internet friends decided last week to bid on the last privately held original copy of the U.S. Constitution, a mission with all the hallmarks of the cryptocurrency world they sprang from.
Their name, ConstitutionDAO, is short for decentralized autonomous organization — just like digital currencies, which have no central organizing authority. Fundraising efforts for the document have taken place on the Ethereum network and moneys collected through a platform called Juicebox. ConstitutionDAO advertised its undertaking on Twitter and Discord, where contributors can get to know each other, as well as hear live Constitution readings over lo-fi beats.
Using blockchain platforms, the friends have raised more than $25 million in a matter of days for their bid Thursday evening at Sotheby’s auction for the rare document. It is valued at $15 million to $20 million.
The hitch? The copy of the Constitution is a real-world thing, not a digital asset. The consortium — whose members work at social-media companies, have founded apps and buy crypto and NFTs — don’t have much experience buying objects at traditional auctions.
Other tricky questions the group has to ponder, should it win: How will they pay for it? Who owns the document? Where will it go? Who will pick it up?
The group’s organizers have been consulting legal, historical and auction experts to smooth out some of the challenges of crowdfunding with new technology to purchase a centuries-old artifact.
There are no returns on investment here. Contributors, who can remain anonymous, won’t make a cent if the group wins the auction. And no one person will own the physical copy.
Instead, taking an antiestablishment posture that might have been familiar to America’s Founding Fathers, as well as crypto enthusiasts, the group agreed to get the document out of millionaires’ art collections and back in the hands of the people, according to organizers.
“Everyone got into it for different reasons, but everyone was really inspired by how we can collectively determine the fate of and govern where this document goes, how it is displayed,” said Mr. Wagner, 30.
If they win, ConstitutionDAO’s goal is to have the document housed in a place that is free and accessible to the public. But, like the object they hope to possess, they have left that final decision to contributors. Each will be allotted voting power, determined by how much crypto they contributed.
Mr. Piedrafita said ConstitutionDAO chose to use Ethereum because it’s one of the most secure smart contract networks, which use blockchain technology to verify and conduct transactions. Juicebox allows users to safely transfer funds and easily get them back should ConstitutionDAO lose the bid, he said.
While contributors are widely anonymous, and sometimes only identifiable by a username, they have the option when sending crypto through Juicebox to leave messages. Mr. Wagner says those have ranged from Britons joking that this is their small act of revenge on Americans for the Revolutionary War, to immigrants saying the U.S. has provided them so much and that this is their chance to unite for a democratic cause.