09 August 2022
Austrian Post is starting a new chapter in the merging of the physical and digital worlds. Crypto stamp art is a new product category with which Austrian Post aims to reach collectors across the globe. With the original Crypto stamp, users first need to buy the physical stamp in order to get the “digital twin” in the Ethereum Blockchain, in contrast to the new Crypto stamp art (CSA), where the focus is on digital collecting.
The first edition involves a new interpretation of the Mercury newspaper stamp from 1851 and was issued on 1 July 2022.
The second step was issued on 22 July in the form of a rollout of digital collection boxes.
A total of 2,500 CSA Mystery Boxes – a kind of digital sticker pack – will be available for purchase. Each of these digital-only boxes contains four Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs), which come in different colours, some rarer than others.
Crypto stamp art will see digital artworks created and collected. Only purchasers of the digital Mystery Boxes will receive an exclusive special art stamp: This is a strictly limited collector’s card that can be broken in half. The right side shows a print of the artwork, while the left can be used as a conventional stamp.
The Crypto stamp art is sold via the platform Tokapi.com, an NFT marketplace founded by three Austrians.
CLASSIC POSTAGE STAMPS AS A BRIDGE TO THE DIGITAL WORLD
For loyal philatelists, “Der Merkur: 1851 – 2022” already appeared on 1 July 2022 as a classic special stamp block.
The Merkur newspaper stamps, which were issued for the first time in the mid-19th century to reduce the cost of sending newspapers, served as a model for the new stamp block. The original series appeared in four colours, whereby only very few copies of the vermilion Mercury still survive today.
This has made it one of the rarest stamps in Europe and by far the most valuable stamp in Austria.
The first Mercury was designed by copperplate engraver Josef Axmann, while the new edition 2022 was designed by PR1MAL CYPHER, Austria’s most renowned digital artist and NFT specialist, who works with his publishing house Encode Graphics.
The special stamp block consists of four stamps – two each worth 85 and 100 cents – and is based on the colours of the original newspaper stamp series with rosé, blue, yellow and vermilion.
The special stamp block is included in the philately subscription of the Austrian Post. Buyers of the Crypto stamp art NFTs will also receive it free of charge.
MERCURY AS START OF NEW PRODUCT CATEGORY
Mercury marks the beginning of the brand new category of 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.
Austrian Post is focusing strongly on new interpretations and has already been able to bring on board other internationally renowned artists who will realise future issues of Crypto stamp art.
The new special stamp block is designed by PR1MAL CYPHER, has a nominal value of EUR 3.70 and a run of 150,000. It is available in all post office branches, from onlineshop.post.at and from the Collectors’ Service of the Austrian Post (Telephone: +43 577 67 – 95095; E-mail: [email protected]).
The Crypto stamp art Mystery Boxes with four NFT versions of the new Mercury are available exclusively on Tokapi.com, each box is priced at EUR 500.