A decentralized autonomous organization () is one of crypto's latest buzzwords and refers to a group of people who come together to raise funds for a common mission. In this case, the mission is to buy an American football franchise, but the possibilities are myriad.
"We know it sounds a bit crazy, but it's also a bit badass," Sean O'Brien, who is spearheading the DAO, told CNBC. "The purpose essentially is to establish an infrastructure so that fans from all walks of life can be owners of the Denver Broncos."
The DAO—dubbed BuyTheBroncosDAO—will need to hit the Broncos' $4 billion valuation mark to be successful.
The initiative—unlike many other DAOs—actually has some political support too. Colorado Governor Jared Polis told CNBC at ETHDenver over the weekend that he would be "excited" to be a part of the DAO's ambitions.
"The challenge will be it'll take a lot of money…but you know what, if your imagination is big enough, then it can happen. And anything I can do to make it happen, I'd be happy to," he said.
DAOs and purchasing potential
This is not the first time a DAO has tried to reach a lofty purchasing goal.
In November 2021, the ConstitutionDAO tried to purchase a copy of the U.S. Constitution at a Sotheby's auction. The DAO raised over $40 million in about a week but ultimately lost out to Citadel's anti-crypto CEO, Ken Griffin.
This year, SuperDAO tried to purchase a Super Bowl ad for Super Bowl 56—dubbed the "Crypto Bowl" on account of the many crypto ads that aired during the game.
SuperDAO wasn't nearly as successful, having only raised about $20,000—far off from the $6.5 million 30 seconds worth of ad space was going for on the day.
So that begs the question—what makes BuyTheBroncosDAO different?
Apart from political support in the form of Governor Polis, BuyTheBroncosDAO also comes with an entirely different governance structure.
Derek Sorenson, a computer science Ph.D. student at Cambridge University who is advising the BuyTheBroncosDAO, told CNBC that the DAO would—if successful—actually give people partial ownership over the Broncos franchise and control over how the team is managed.
What if it fails?
If the BuyTheBroncosDAO fails to meet its goal, it's got a backup plan too.
Should the DAO not raise all the funds necessary, DAO organizers are aiming to raise about 25% of these funds—still $1 billion—and from there, coordinate with traditional investors to make up the additional $3 billion required.
"We want this effort to essentially open up people's eyes to what a DAO can do in the real world and make a tangible connection between this Web3 life and the real world," O'Brien said.