Putting Out NFT Stamps: a New Level of Cryptocurrency Utility
People collect stamps based on where they are from, what they are about, the year they were made, or any other way they can think of. Even though collecting stamps is a fun and passionate hobby in analog format, the digital NFT format gives it a new and exciting twist. Find out how PostNL and the Austrian Post Office have tried to use the popularity of NFTs to bring the philately market back to life.
Adding a Pinch of Blockchain to Philately
Stamp collecting has always been about learning about and appreciating the heritage, culture, science, and many other important aspects of a specific moment in a particular country’s history. However, this old-fashioned but cute hobby is on the decline because younger people are more interested in digital content.
Most likely, this is why postal operators worked with new digital technologies to give collectors of postal assets new and exciting ways to use them. The lost art of philately can be brought back to life because of collecting and trading NFT stamps.
NFT stamps are backed by a digital currency and are recorded on a blockchain. Stamp collectors can buy real stamps that have a unique code on them. Once the stamp is scanned, the owner will get an NFT of it.
A Joint Effort of the Netherlands and the Austrian Posts
Two postal services in Europe have looked to make the most of the merger of technology and philately. At the Blockchain Expo in Amsterdam, the media team from 10Clouds talked to the Netherlands Post (PostNL) and the Austrian Post Office (PostAG) about their plans to combine postage stamps and NFTs.
"What we sell is a crypto stamp. It's a real stamp, but it also has a digital version called an NFT. You can put something in the blockchain, get it back, sell it, or trade it. I'm not sure if you know this or not, but stamps are used to send mail." said Mirjam Verhaagen of PostNL.
The stamps are made by the Austrian company VariusSystems. It looks like the company saw that NFT was popular and combined that with the fact that many people still like to collect things.
“The Austrian post made the first blockchain stamp. It used Ethereum's blockchain and, if we think about it, was even ahead of the NFT trend. And today, PostNL and Austrian Post are proud to show the world their first joint issue,” said Irina Grinkina of VariusSystems.
A Renaissance of Stamp Collecting
Surprisingly, the above example of philatelists and NFT experts working together is not a one-off. In October 2022, a new set of nine NFT stamps will be released on the stampsdaq.com marketplace. These stamps are digital versions of the "Native Masks" postage stamps set, which was first released in 1960 to commemorate the indigenous people who helped form the new country of Côte d'Ivoire.
Additionally, the first Swiss Crypto Stamp was issued by Swiss Post in September of last year, with a total of 65,000 of the most commonly used stamps being printed.
On top of that, the central bank of Lithuania released digital collectible coins as NFTs in the middle of 2020, before digital collectibles became very popular. The Japan Post is also putting up its first NFTs of stamp art on the Rakuten NFT market.
Furthermore, the Polish Post Office has announced that it intends to issue cryptocurrency stamps. The company launched the website nft.poczta-polska.pl, where it will, among other things, show what it has to offer in the way of digital collectibles.
It's not out of the question that the NFT craze will alter the way young people view philately, even though traditionalists in the field are notoriously resistant to innovation.
Younger generations are usually open to adding new ways to collect to their hobby. This group doesn't worry about getting NFTs. So, there is a good chance that NFTs will become more important in the philatelic world.