Switzerland’s first cryptocurrency stamp was created to bridge the gap between the physical and digital stamp world.
Switzerland’s postal service, the Swiss Post, has launched the nation’s first cryptocurrency stamp, according to a statement. The stamps will be sold as digital collectibles that are linked to a physical stamp issued by the Swiss Post. Each stamp will cost 8.9 Swiss francs (~$10).
The stamps feature one of 13 different images with digital versions being stored in a blockchain. They can then be traded, collected, or exchanged online like non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and other digital collectibles. Like NFTs, the digital versions of the Swiss Post stamps will be tradeable on the OpenSea marketplace.
Crypto stamps are a first in Switzerland
“At first glance, the Swiss Crypto Stamp looks like any ordinary stamp,” says the Swiss Post in a statement. “It is self-adhesive, shows the Matterhorn and the moon on a blue background, and has a face value of 8.90 francs. Owners can use it to frank postal items just like any other stamp. But the actual crypto stamp is digital. and it is a digital collector’s item.” This confirms that the physical stamps will be usable as normal payment for postage while the digital versions are purely collectibles and cannot be used to mail things.
The stamps will be sold in a “blind box” format, meaning that buyers will not know which variation they are buying until it is delivered. “Buyers only discover what the digital twin of their physical stamp looks like when they go online.” Each stamp comes with a QR code that allows owners access to the digital versions. Of the 13 different designs, the Swiss Post says that there will be varying rarities among the release. For example, there are 65,000 copies of the most common design. The rarest level will have just 50 examples minted. The blind box format means that everyone has an equal chance to be one of the lucky 50 to snag a rare stamp. Overall, 175,000 stamps will be available for sale at selected Swiss Post offices or online.
While the stamps are a first for Switzerland, they are not the first to experiment with digital stamp collectibles. In June of 2019, Austria’s Österreichische Post announced the release of a commemorative digital stamp on the Ethereum blockchain. Similar to the Swiss Post’s stamps, the Austrian versions were created as virtual collector’s items. Since then, the Österreichische Post has released two more stamp collections. The stamps sold for a flat rate of $12 each and some are on the secondhand market are going for upwards of $20,000.
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