At the beginning of July this year, the Austrian Post wrote a new chapter in the issue of stamps: In addition to the well-known “Crypto stamp” (we reported), the “Crypto stamp art”, abbreviated CSA, was created. The difference: While with the conventional stamp, the physical stamp must first be purchased to get the “digital twin” in the Ethereum blockchain, with crypto stamp art the focus is on digital collection. This is not only unique worldwide, but also happens in collaboration with a local NFT platform.
Historical stamp in digital format
The exit signal is a modern reinterpretation of the Merkur newspaper’s stamps from 1851, which was published on July 1, 2022. Old meets new, so to speak, not entirely without ulterior motives, as Posten explains: “The Merkur newspaper stamps, first issued in the mid-1800s for cheaper mailing of newspapers, served as a template. The series appeared in four color values, although very few examples of the vermilion Mercury have survived today. This makes it one of the rarest stamps in Europe and by far the most valuable stamp in Austria.” For the NFT collection, an artistic bridge into the digital world was built. the design the new edition “PR1MAL CYPHER”, one of the most famous Austrian digital artists and NFT specialists. The block of special stamps consists of four stamps – each with two 85 and 100 cents – and is based on the colors of the original newspaper stamp series of rosé, blue, yellow and vermilion. In a second step, digital collection boxes were rolled out on July 22, 2022. A total of 2,500 CSA Mystery Boxes have been unlocked for purchase. This purely digital box contains four non-fungible tokens whose color values are distributed differently. Purchasers of the digital mystery boxes also receive an exclusive special art stamp upon purchase, a strictly limited trading card that can be broken in two. The right side shows a print of the artwork, the left side can be used as a traditional stamp.
Cryptostamps: Austrian Post as an international pioneer
The new issue also marks the beginning of the all-new Crypto stamp art. “It forms a digital collector’s item with a physical counterpart, but the focus is on collecting digital artworks and collaborating with greats from the NFT scene,” explains Patricia Liebermann, head of philately at Austrian Post. Ultimately, the goal is to reach “collectors worldwide” with the new product category. Those who strike will receive limited edition unique artworks by renowned NFT artists. This is intended to reinforce the trend that you have to some extent created yourself. The first “crypto stamp” was a surprise success in 2019, sparking a global collecting trend. “Postal companies around the world have tried to enter the crypto world, but only Austrian Post has had a successful technical implementation with several successor generations and an active community,” says Liebermann happily. There is a long way behind this: “We specialized early on in the use of blockchain and crypto technology, which has made us an international pioneer. Thanks to a collaboration with the Leopold Museum and the NFT platform LaCollection, we have also been able to contribute with our know-how in the field of art. With the new innovative further development of CSA, we further expand our expertise. The rarest stamp in Europe and clearly the most valuable stamp in Austria – Zinnoberrote Merkur – is secured forever by being written into the blockchain,’ says Patricia Liebermann happily.
Collaboration with Tokapi
If you want to strike now: Crypto stamp art is sold via the t-platformokapi.com, an NFT marketplace founded by three Austrians. “We decided on a central platform, as it is the only way to ensure that all collectors and interested parties have easy access without special technical knowledge. We want to make it easy for anyone and everyone to collect NFTs. It is not yet possible with pure Web3.0 applications,” explains Liebermann. Additionally, no prior wallet or crypto knowledge is required on Tokapi. The digital works of art can therefore be conveniently purchased with conventional payment methods.
Over 400 boxes sold in 16 countries
Daniel Lenikus is the managing director of Tokapi – and is also happy about the collaboration. “Blockchain is changing the world even faster than the Internet and usually involves significant complexity. We are removing these obstacles. NFTs should be an inclusive technology that everyone can use, not limited to a select few with deep blockchain knowledge,” he explains. In any case, the start was promising: “More than 400 pieces of the CSA mystery boxes were sold in 16 countries on three continents,” recalls Lenikus, “although the NFT market is currently in the so-called ‘crypto winter'” . This historical event is documented with a digital stamp, in this case July 22, 2022. “A start for Crypto stamp art and another milestone for digital collecting,” sums up Lenikus. In principle, the offer would appeal to everyone, but of course in particular to art enthusiasts and collectors of unique works of art with an affinity for NFTs and digital works of art.
What happens next should remain a secret. However, the post confirms that the collaboration continues: “We see the collaboration with recognized NFT artists as a long-term collaboration. An activity area where selected designers get a creative space. Additional projects and international editions are planned in the future. But as always, the future of our crypto stamp remains a well-kept secret,” smiles Patricia Liebermann. If you still want to be updated: You can subscribe to the Crypto stamp newsletter here for exclusive news and exciting articles.
Crypto Stamps: The Austrian Post’s NFT stamps are so popular