Stamp collecting went digital.
In July 2022, the Austrian Post announced the launch of Crypto Stamp Art (CSA) based on the Ethereum blockchain. The launch was made in collaboration with Tokapi, the first European marketplace for NFTs.
Quick note: Tokapi is dedicated to making buying and selling NFTs as easy as possible for non-tech-savvy users with little or no blockchain knowledge. By enabling NFT-related payments via instant bank transfers and credit cards, the platform’s mission is to make NFTs accessible to everyone.
What’s Crypto Stamp Art?
Crypto Stamp Art, or CSA, is a term that defines digital collectibles and stamps designed by renowned artists. Crypto Stamp Art was developed as an additional product, especially for NFT collectors. CSA is a strictly limited trading card with multiple security features and an NFC chip to prove/verify the authenticity.
It’s worth noting that Crypto Stamp Art differs from Crypto Stamps, the blockchain stamp with a digital twin in the Ethereum network.
In June 2019, Austrian Post started selling the world’s first crypto stamp. The Austrian Post put in circulation 150,000 such stamps.
Each stamp has a nominal value of €6,90, the official selling price. These stamps are normal postage stamps, yet each has a digital counterpart. The digital counterpart of the physical stamps comes in five colors, each one having a different degree of uniqueness:
This first edition of Crypto Stamps contains a limited number of items that can’t be purchased in normal retail stores or the online shop of Austria Post.
Instead, people can purchase the crypto stamp exclusively via the Austrian Post OnChain shop, a store based on smart contracts within the Ethereum blockchain.
Der Merkur Stamp: World’s First CSA Edition
In July 2022, the Austrian Post launched the “Der Merkur” stamp, a CSA based on the Ethereum blockchain.
This first edition of the CSA is a modern redesign of the Merkur newsletter stamp from 1851.
The original series came in four colors, the Red Mercury remaining the rarest European stamp and by far the most valuable stamp in Austria.
The renowned digital artist PR1MAL CYPHER redesigned the “Der Merkur” stamps.
The collectors can access the CSA by purchasing Mystery Boxes on Tokapi. The Austria Post launched 2,500 CSA Mystery boxes. Each one costs €500 and contains:
The “Der Merkur” stamp comes in different colors, each one signaling the rarity level:
As Tokapi doesn’t require a crypto wallet, people can purchase the CSA mystery boxes using their credit cards.
That’s an excellent NFT use case, showing how the postal services industry is innovating and re-inventing itself, becoming more and more appealing to the younger generation and creating new relationship dynamics with future digital collectors.