One of the best things about the cryptocurrency and blockchain industry is all of the different kinds of unique opportunities that it can provide. For instance, it was via crypto and blockchain that the P2E (Play-To-Earn) industry skyrocketed. P2E games are digital markets in their own right. They have their own crypto tokens that are built on the blockchain of a specific cryptocurrency and the corresponding tokenomics. Essentially, P2E enables users to earn an income by completing a number of different tasks in a game which, in exchange for their efforts, will grant them different tokens that can then be sold at compatible exchanges for real money.
A more recent example of the innovative usage of blockchain technology would also be that of the metaverse, with entire companies such as JPMorgan and Emirates Airlines implementing their own respective metaverses for their customers. Clearly, there is no shortage of opportunities when it comes to this relatively new kind of digital technology.
With that being said, Austrian Post has introduced a new product category known as CSA (Crypto stamp art). Customers can only buy CSA digitally and they will receive the physical special art stamp, however it is worth mentioning that the main focus of CSA is on digital collecting. In addition, CSA will be sold on Tokapi.com, a leading European NFT marketplace which accepts credit card payments. Finally, the Ethereum network will be used for this initiative.
Why is this important?
Stamp collecting has been a popular hobby and pastime for a plethora of people all over the world for numerous generations. In a way, stamps allow us to sample a taste of another country and culture while in the comfort of our own homes. That was then however, and in 2022 stamp collecting could become more popular than ever before thanks to the inclusion of cryptocurrency and blockchain technology along with non-fungible tokens (NFTs).
Regarding CSA, the stamp collection is a contemporary reimagining of 1851 Merkur newspaper stamps. The associated special stamp block was released on July 1st, 2022. Moreover, digital collection boxes will be available later on in the month on July 22nd. A total of 2,500 CSA Mystery Boxes, which are similar to digital sticker packs, will be available for purchase priced at 500 Euro per box. This purely digital box also contains 4 NFTs with varying frequency distributions of color values along with a physical trading card as well.
It is worth pointing out that only those who purchase digital mystery boxes will receive an exclusive special art stamp, which is essentially a very exclusive trading card that can be split down the middle. The artwork is imprinted on the right side, and the left side can be used as a standard stamp. With all the hype surrounding the collection of cards like this across multiple mediums, this exclusive trading card will undoubtedly be one of the main features of CSA.
What about rarity?
Naturally, a collection is only as valuable as its rarity. After all, some of the most popular NFT collections such as CryptoPunks and BAYC were successful mainly because they offered some semblance of exclusivity and luxury to the holders of the non-fungible tokens. The Merkur newspaper stamps also have a high degree of rarity, as these were originally issued in the mid-19th century for the discounted delivery of newspapers. The series was released in 4 color values, with only a handful of vermilion Mercury specimens remaining today. This makes it one of the most valuable stamps in Austria and among the rarest in all of Europe.
Furthermore, renowned artists like Josef Axmann and PR1MAl CYPHER were involved with the designing of the original and new newspaper brands, respectively. CSA Mystery Box buyers will also be given a special stamp block (consisting of 4 stamps and 1 out of 4 possible colours, namely rosé, red, blue and yellow), completely free of charge.
A new era for stamp collecting
The new edition signals the start of an entirely new CSA era. It is a digital collector’s item with a physical counterpart, but the emphasis is on collecting digital works of art as well as joining forces with some of the top names in the NFT space. Austrian Post is therefore reliant on new interpretations and has already won over various other globally recognized artists who will also participate in future CSA editions.
As previously mentioned, PR1MAL CYPHER designed the new special stamp block, which has a nominal value of 3.70 Euros and was issued a whopping 150,000 times. It is obtainable at all post offices via onlineshop.post.at. Lastly, the CSA Mystery Boxes with 4 NFTs each shall only be available on Tokapi.com beginning July 22nd, with a price of 500 Euros per box. Customers will find it easy to make purchases via Tokapi as they can either use their credit cards as previously mentioned or select the instant transfer option if they want. In terms of rarities, ‘Red’ will have 100 editions and 1% rarity, ‘Yellow’ will have 1,000 editions and 10% rarity, ‘Blue’ will have 3,000 editions and 30% rarity, ‘Rosé’ will have 5,896 editions and 58.96% rarity, and finally ‘Purple/Green/Turquoise/Pattern’ will have only 1 edition each and 0.01% rarity.
In the words of Daniel Lenikus, Tokapi CEO, the platform will help empower NFT collections without having to possess previous knowledge or expertise about non-fungible tokens, cryptocurrencies or blockchain technology. In this way, Daniel added, buyers have an easy way of getting involved with the burgeoning NFT sector and the non-fungible tokens will hence become increasingly accessible, thereby enabling the next wave of collectors. Patricia Liebermann, Head of Philately at Austrian Post AG, similarly talked about the importance of CSA and how it has the potential to revitalize the stamp industry and bring it into the digital age by bridging the gap between the physical and virtual worlds