Unexpectedly high demand for Switzerland’s first crypto stamp has created headaches for the national postal service. Swiss Post said it needed to resolve technical issues that occurred when many orders were placed online at once the day of the launch.
Demand for First Crypto Stamp Overwhelms Swiss Post’s Online Store
Swiss Post announced the “crypto stamp” initiative in September when it was presented as an attempt to “bridge the gap between the physical and digital worlds in philately.” The state-owned company joined forces with blockchain services provider Inacta to produce the stamp, a first of a kind for the Alpine nation.
When the crypto stamp was launched on Thursday morning, Nov. 25, demand was so high that it “temporarily led to technical problems on postshop.ch,” the Swiss Post told the AWP news agency. That’s after the postal service had been contacted by many interested in acquiring the stamp in recent weeks, according to a spokesperson quoted by Swissinfo.
The publication details that the crypto stamp consists of two parts – a physical one, which can be bought for 8.90 Swiss francs ($9.50), and a corresponding digital image depicting one of 13 designs. Each stamp can access the digital representation on a blockchain that can be collected or traded.
“At first glance, the Swiss Crypto Stamp looks like any ordinary stamp. It’s self-adhesive with the Matterhorn and moon displayed on blue background and has an 8.90 Franc face value. Owners can use it to frank postal items just like any other stamp,” Swiss Post explained in a statement released on Sept. 30 while also noting: “But the actual crypto stamp is digital and it is a digital collector’s item.”
Inacta and Swiss Post plan to release 175,000 cryptocurrency stamps. There will be 65,000 copies for the most popular digital design and 50 for the least rare. Within the first hour of launch, three-quarters (75%) of limited editions had been bought.
Switzerland has been a leading crypto-friendly nation in Europe for the last few years. Numerous companies in the blockchain sector are represented and headquartered in the Swiss crypto Valley, located in Canton of Zug. Participation in crypto-space has been sought by even state-run companies.
Swiss Post and Swisscom announced in 2018 a cooperation on a blockchain infrastructure project. The goal was to meet banks’ security requirements. Postfinance is a banking division of the postal service that launched a mobile application earlier this year to provide clients access more than 12 cryptocurrencies.
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