The Faroe Islands postal service has taken a leap into the digital age by issuing a new series of digital stamps, known as “crypto stamps”. Each stamp, while still serving as actual postage, is accompanied by a nonfungible token (NFT) stored on the blockchain, serving as a digital representation of the physical entity.
The First Issue: “Stamps of Maybe”
On June 23, the Posta Faroe Islands’ official website for issuing postage announced the debut of the autonomous region’s first collection of crypto stamps. This novel collection, entitled “Stamps of Maybe,” was developed in collaboration with VariusSystems.
According to the postal service, each physical stamp has a corresponding digital version stored on the blockchain. The NFT-enabled format not only creates a digital replica of the stamp but also enables owners to participate in the creative process, adding to the stamp’s uniqueness and scarcity.
Stamping Innovation in Postal Services
Michael Dorner, CEO of VariusSystems, highlighted the global interest in such innovative applications of emerging technologies after attending a summit with the Universal Postal Union at the United Nations. “We felt an enormous interest not only in the NFT stamps but in blockchain technology…and how this digital revolution with decentralized blockchains can help their businesses grow and stay ahead of the curve,” Dorner remarked.
Interactive Weather-Based Activation
The unique aspect of the Faroe Islands’ collection is the connection of the stamps with the local Faroese weather station, Veðurstova Føroya. The real-time weather data at the time of activation influences the appearance of the digital version of the stamps, adding an interactive element to the digital philately experience.
A Growing Global Trend
This move by the Faroe Islands is part of a growing trend of postal services worldwide employing blockchain technology to reinvent philately. The Netherlands’ PostNL and the Austrian Post Office (PostAG) have also issued NFT crypto stamps. PostAG launched its first editions on the Ethereum blockchain in 2019, and in 2021, introduced near-field communication (NFC) chip functionality for added verification possibilities. This is a significant step in integrating physical and digital realms and reinventing the traditional concept of stamp collecting.