Milestones in crypto stamp history: Exploring the possibilities of blockchain in the Post

The revolutionary crypto stamps produced by Stampfinity, a brand of VariusSystems, a newly joined UPU Consultative Committee member, have become a steppingstone in the world of collectibles, enabling postal organizations to reach new target groups and provide additional value to collectors. These stamps serve as a gateway for individuals to explore the benefits of blockchain technology without any risk or tedious registration processes.

The journey of crypto stamps began in 2019 when the specialty stamp manufacturer VariusSystems collaborated with Austrian Post, helping it to become the first company to issue a crypto stamp. This groundbreaking partnership laid the foundation for the fusion of physical stamps with their digital counterparts stored on the blockchain. VariusSystems took over both the production of the physical product and the development of the blockchain integration. Since then, crypto stamps have gained momentum and garnered immense interest from collectors.

Over the recent years, the influence of VariusSystems in the world of crypto stamps has extended beyond Austria. We have collaborated with posts in the UAE, the Netherlands, Germany, Luxembourg, and the Faroe Islands, expanding the reach and appeal of these innovative stamps across borders. These partnerships have showcased the versatility and widespread adoption of crypto stamps, transcending geographical boundaries.

What is a crypto stamp?

Crypto stamps bring the traditional stamp collecting experience into the digital age. A crypto stamp is a physical stamp that is connected to its digital twin stored in a blockchain network. (More about the taxonomy of digital philatelic products here.) This digital twin is typically in the form of a non-fungible token (NFT), which represents a unique and verifiable digital asset. By linking the digital and the physical counterparts of this product, the security-related advantages of the blockchain technology get transferred onto the physical stamp, making it counterfeit proof. Moreover, this linkage enables collectors to engage with stamps in new, exciting ways.

The linkage between the physical stamp and the digital counterpart can be executed by an encrypted near-field communication (NFC) chip inside the stamp. This chip also lowers the entry barrier into the world of blockchain for customers, thereby increasing the accessibility of this technology. Everything is prepared for the end user, who doesn’t have to go through any registration process, doesn’t need to install any apps and doesn’t require any prior knowledge of this technology. The NFT is stored directly on the stamp and can be displayed simply by scanning it with a smartphone.

These stamps seamlessly combine the physical and digital realms, presenting a simple solution to access blockchain assets. The inclusion of pre-installed wallets enables transactions using regular currencies, eliminating additional transaction fees and the need for crypto payments, which also contributes to their user-friendliness.

Success stories

In our pursuit of continuous innovation, we have achieved remarkable milestones this year.

For example, VariusSystems has introduced the first-ever crypto stamp featuring an oracle, where the live weather data from the Faroe Islands influences the visual appearance of the NFT, bringing in an element of co-creation.

Additionally, VariusSystems has proudly released its first co-branded crypto stamp in collaboration with the postal organization NordBrief and the famous event organizer Wacken, with the proceeds from the stamp sale supporting the music industry through the Wacken Foundation.

Another major milestone in the crypto stamp history is the trilateral crypto stamp collection from Austria, the Netherlands and Luxembourg, which is going to be issued this October. While for Austria, this issue will mark the milestone of 1 million crypto stamps issued to date, it will be the very first crypto stamp issue for Luxembourg.

These remarkable feats underscore the immense popularity of and the growing demand for digital collectibles. VariusSystems and Stampfinity invite you to embark on an exciting journey into the world of crypto stamps, where physical collectibles meet the power of the blockchain technology.
Michael Dorner,
CEO, VariusSystems & Stampfinity
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