A few weeks ago, I had to opportunity to attend the PostEurop Philatelic Forum organised by POST Luxembourg. Several post offices and stamp manufacturers presented their innovations in a convivial atmosphere. They included the crypto stamp, which appeared to be everyone’s favourite...
The crypto stamp is the idea of the Swiss and Austrian post offices and it has, naturally, first been used in those countries. It is a physical postal stamp with a QR code representing a “Non-Fungible Token”; that is, a kind of unique ownership title to the stamp, which is stored in a blockchain. The system enables the post office to interact with the stamp holder to offer them a new digital user experience.
POST Luxembourg launched its first crypto stamp on 10 October, jointly with PostNL and Österreichische Post. It had a QR code on the sheet and a lion on the physical stamp. It was a joint issue by the three countries. The first issue by POST Luxembourg consisted of 75,000 stamps, valued at €9 each.
While the creation of this type of stamp is quite recent, the first were actually issued in 2018. Many countries are now entering this new market. With good reason: post offices
appear to be quite convinced by the stamps, which sold out in record time in Switzerland and Austria. The launch changed the typology of stamp collectors. It would appear that crypto stamps appeal to a new generation of collectors.
I was also able to admire many unusual stamps as I walked through the aisles of the forum: stamps made of fabric, of gold and even an augmented reality stamp. I bet that you are already wondering where that will lead to. In fact, the stamp is very simple.It features a bird that flies into your telephone when you pass you mobile phone over it, giving you access to a short video.
This proves that there is still room for innovation and creativity in the stamp world today. Will philately reinvent itself thanks to technology? At a time when stamp collectors are ageing, the post offices, and I, hope that this will give the field a boost! Long life to POST Luxembourg’s new crypto stamp!