DENVER — It may take a miracle, but the plan orchestrated by cryptocurrency enthusiasts to raise $4 billion to purchase the Denver Broncos has Gov. Jared Polis' attention and support.
"The fans are the lifeblood, man. Without the fans, teams don't exist," said Sean O'Brien, a decades-long former attorney for Cisco and the organizer of this initiative.
His plan aims to make Broncos fans and anyone in the world partial owners of the team by using a decentralized autonomous organization. His DAO is called "BuyTheBroncos."
"We are setting up the infrastructure on the blockchain... which allows for individuals across all stripes across any country, in theory, to pool their resources for the singular effort of not only purchasing the Denver Broncos, but then also having a participatory hand in managing the operations of them moving forward," O'Brien said.
Another way to think of DAO is crowdfunding, except with the opportunity to vote on and influence decisions. It's a community of people with no single leader who share a common goal.
In this case, the goal is to raise $4 billion in both cryptocurrency and cash to place the winning bid on the Broncos. The Broncos sale structure is likened to an auction, which means the highest bidder wins.
O'Brien's team working on the final touches of the DAO before it goes live includes attorneys, accountants, developers, mathematicians, marketers and former pro athletes. An announcement for the DAO's official launch is expected in the coming weeks.
"We are optimistic, but at the same time, we're pragmatic. The idea is one that we are going to pursue, and we have a lot of faith that it can be something that will be successful," O'Brien said.
In 2021, some DAOs showed their potential in a big way. One DAO raised $4 million to purchase a copy of a Wu-Tang Clan album, and a different DAO raised about $47 million to place a bid on a rare edition of the U.S. Constitution, but fell short.
But O'Brien is aware that several obstacles will stand in his way.
"It's an uphill battle, frankly, because the NFL has, on many occasions, made it well known that they prefer to have a very wealthy individual own a team,"O'Brien said.
The NFL requires one controlling owner to have 30% stake in the team and limits each team to 24 owners, which may be problematic for a DAO.
The NFL has not yet responded to Denver7's inquiry for comment regarding any possible exceptions for the BuyTheBroncos DAO.
Regardless, O'Brien says they would be willing to work around this rule and partner up with wealthy prospects, who will soon be placing their bids.
"If there was an opportunity to work with them, we would absolutely take it because we think that this is not only beneficial to them as potential buyers in the Broncos but also beneficial to the Broncos in general for the future because it expands the potential reach of fans, potential participation of the fan base, etc. to the point that no other team would realistically be able to compete," O'Brien said.
Joshua Ross, the director of entrepreneurship at Denver University, says he's intrigued by the idea.
"This is the beauty of cryptocurrency and the blockchain. It removes all borders... every transaction is borderless, meaning that people can get involved in this and be a part of this community anywhere in the world," Ross said.
Also fascinated by the idea is Polis, a crypto enthusiast himself, who founded the Blockchain Caucus in Congress. He also recently announced plans that the state would accept cryptocurrency for state taxes starting this summer.
He told CNBC over the weekend at the ETHDenver event that he would be more than excited to be a part of O'Brien's mission.
"We hope to speak with him soon," O'Brien said.
The Broncos organization declined to comment on the matter.