Austrian Post Started Selling The World’s First Blockchain Stamp
In June 2019, Austrian Post started selling the world’s first blockchain stamp. The Crypto stamps have been published with 150,000 of such stamps placed in circulation. The stamps have a value of 6.90 € which is (was) also the official selling price.
Though the stamps are used as normal postage stamps, each of the stamps also has a digital counterpart too. The digital stamp which is a counterpart of the real-world stamp can have one of the five colours, each with a different degree of uniqueness: Red (1,500 pieces), Yellow (10,000 pieces), Blue (20,000 pieces), Green (40,000 pieces) and Black (78,500 pieces).
Instead, 500 crypto stamps are sold exclusively via the Austrian Post OnChain shop, which is based on a relatively innovative technology (namely smart contracts within the Ethereum blockchain). The first 401 Crypto stamps could be purchased in the OnChain-Shop (https://crypto.post.at/onchainshop) at a sales price of 6.90 €.
However, the last 99 Crypto stamps of the OnChain shop will be sold according to a different price model by the Austrian Post. Their selling price also increases by 8% after each sale.
Buyers of the physical version of Crypto stamps (i.e. stamps that can be purchased in retail stores) will receive a stamp with two scratch fields. Behind these scratch, fields are individual access credentials to a digital wallet within the Ethereum blockchain.
This wallet can be used with web browsers like Firefox and Chrome after the browser plugin “Metamask” has been installed. If one wants to look into your wallet, he/she can enter the printed address on https://crypto.post.at/wallet.
An unused wallet contains a small amount of the cryptocurrency ether (0.00166 ETH), which has a value of approximately € 0,35. The wallet mainly contains an individual token, which forms the basis for the digital counterpart.
The sale of tokenized stamps
While selling tokenized stamps there are a few things to consider. Practically, the digital token and the physical stamp can be sold separately: If the physical stamp changes hands, the token does not follow automatically. And vice versa, the stamp doesn’t follow the sale of the token.
However, there is one exception: If the crypto stamp has been purchased from the Austrian Post’s OnChain shop and the shipping address for the physical stamp has not yet been transmitted, the sale of respective token via the blockchain is sufficient.
This is possible as long as the shipping address is not stored in the blockchain, so only the owner of the digital wallet containing the token can enter the shipping address. This means that the physical stamp can go
from one hand to another by only trading the digital token (as long as the post office is obliged to deliver and there is no statute of limitations).
Austrian Post’s crypto stamp project, which was initiated in cooperation with the Austrian Capacity Blockchain Solutions GmbH, is remarkable. On the one hand, two collection areas (stamps and