The national postal service of Switzerland is working to bridge the gap between physical stamps and the digital cryptocurrency industry by introducing tradable digital stamps.
On Sept. 20, the Swiss Post officially announced the upcoming launch of the “Swiss crypto stamp,” a digital collectible linked to a physical stamp issued by the postal service worth 8.9 Swiss francs.
The Swiss crypto stamp will provide a digital representation for a physical stamp and will be stored on a blockchain. “Each design forms a nonfungible token and is stored in the Polygon Blockchain,” a spokesperson for the Swiss Post told Cointelegraph.
Buyers will be able to discover a digital twin of their physical stamp online through a QR code printed next to the physical stamp. The crypto stamp’s image will show one of 13 possible designs and can be collected, exchanged and traded online, the Swiss Post said.
According to a representative for Swiss Post, customers will be able to exchange or sell their crypto stamps on platforms such as major nonfungible token (NFT) marketplace OpenSea. “Swiss Post only sells the Swiss crypto stamp, trading with it takes place separately from Swiss Post,” the spokesperson added.
The upcoming Swiss crypto stamp will apparently provide an experience somewhat similar to NFTs, as some of the stamps will have a rare design.
“Some are more common, while others are much rarer and more coveted. There are 65,000 copies of the most common digital design, but just 50 of the rarest. One thing is clear: the Swiss crypto stamp means collecting, exchanging and trading stamps has gone digital, too,” the Swiss Post wrote.
The Swiss crypto stamp will launch in late November, with 175,000 such stamps coming to selected Swiss Post branches on Nov. 25. According to the announcement, the Swiss crypto stamp will be the first stamp of its kind ever launched in Switzerland.
Switzerland is not the first country to experiment with blockchain technology to provide digital stamp collectibles. In May 2021, Austria’s postal service announced plans for incorporating NFC chips in its Crypto Stamp 3.0, the third iteration of its limited-edition NFT postage stamp collectible series. Austria released its first-ever crypto stamp in 2019.