In addition to payments in Croatian kuna, a limited series of 500 stamps were made available for purchase online for cryptocurrencies.
They sold out in just 16 hours!
On September 9, 2020, to celebrate the Stamp Day the Croatian post launched the first crypto stamp.
It is a postage stamp with a face value of HRK 50, ($7.9) . Crypto stamp is also an ERC 721 NFT token on the Ethereum blockchain.
After Croatian post last year introduced the service of exchanging cryptocurrencies into Croatian kuna in its branches throughout the country, this is another notable effort by Croatian post. Crypto stamp gets Croatian Post actively involved with the latest technology. It makes it one of only a few such postal services in the world.
The Crypto stamp is issued in five categories. Each category is published in different editions, totaling 100.000 stamps as follows:
- Van: 60.000
- Train: 25.000
- Ship: 10.000
- Airplane: 4.000
- Dron: 1.000
The crypto stamp by Croatian Post was created in cooperation with prominent companies from the Croatian crypto scene: BitX, NodeFactory, and Electrocoin.
The President of UBIK, Vlaho Hrdalo, stated on the occasion of the release of the crypto stamp:
The crypto stamp project is extremely important for the development of this relatively young industry in Croatia, but also for putting Croatia on the world blockchain map and the world philatelic map. Considering that crypto stamp also marks a round anniversary: 180 years since the first postage stamp “Penny Black”.
The stamp was designed by Ivana Vučić and Tomislav-Jurica Kaćunić,. The unique printing was done by Agency for Commercial Activity (AKD).
The digital token on the blockchain is called Postereum,. It is a product of the cooperation between companies BitX and NodeFactory, both from Zagreb.
This event was an ideal opportunity to have a talk with Belma Gutlić, the CEO and founder of NodeFactory, and Tin Galetović, co-founder of BitX, and to learn more about the whole project.
Interview with Belma and Tin
Hello Belma, hello Tin, can you tell us a few words about your companies?
Belma: I founded the company NodeFactory together with my colleague Marin Petrunić at the beginning of 2018. Shortly after graduating from college. We’ve both been crypto enthusiasts for years, and that’s when we realized there was a market demand for developing blockchain infrastructure and decentralized applications.
Tin: BitX was initially just an idea of three friends, which soon became a reality.
With Tin Šarić and Marko Horvat, I founded the company in 2018 after a few years of slowly following the domestic and foreign scenes of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology.
We simply came up with the idea to try to develop solutions in the domestic market that would bring closer traditional and modern sectors.
Where did the idea to make a crypto stamp with Croatian Post came from? How is it related to the fact that the Croatian Post has been offering cryptocurrency exchange services?
Tin: The idea came after the successful launch of cryptocurrency purchases in 55 branches across Croatia and Post’s desire and need to modernize its business. Following the successful launch of the Austrian crypto stamp, we decided to propose a project to the Croatian Post so that they could step into a new era of innovative technology together with the rest of Croatia
How did your collaboration come about and how did you assign the tasks between your companies?
Tin: The collaboration came on the recommendation of colleagues from another company with whom we are collaborating on a different project and colleagues from Electrocoin. After asking them if they know anyone who already has experience in programming and working on the Ethereum platform, we on both sides received an enthusiastic recommendation that NodeFactory is a logical choice for this type of project. All programming work related to the website and programming on the Ethereum network was done by NodeFactory. The conceptual, creative, and communication background is the work of BitX and colleagues from the Croatian Post who also got engaged in the project to meet the market
Do you have any previous experience in minting NFT tokens for clients? Have any of you participated in a similar project before?
Belma: We have experience with the development of applications in various industries, including tokens. We were doing an interesting NFT project for one artist and gallery owner where the tokens were actually works of art and that was a form of digital art
. The collaboration was great for us because it is someone from that industry who recognized a certain problem that blockchain efficiently solved.
Please describe to us how technically demanding a project like this is, and what were your biggest challenges. Did you have to meet any tight deadlines?
Belma: The project consists of several different parts of the system and integration with external services. It is necessary to connect it all, cover all cases, test, monitor, and caress. Also, with young technology you can’t, predict all the factors.
At one point when Ethereum’s congestion began to rise, as did transaction cost prices, we realized we wouldn’t be able to pre-create (mint) all the stamps online. In a very short time, we used one trick and switched it to work differently using merkle air-drops on a smart contract. Thus, we have ensured that we do not further clog the network with over 4.000 transactions in a short time, but instead, only those stamps that are sold are activated online.
How much did the similar blockchain stamps issued by the Austrian Post last year make things easier for you?
How different is our version of the stamp compared to the Austrian one?
Tin: The Austrian Post was certainly an inspiration and a starting point. But we wanted to tell a story through the Croatian edition that is unique and closely related to the business and history of Croatian Post Philately, and Croatian Post as one of the oldest institutions. Also, we didn’t want to go so deep into the whole story about the Ethereum community as it was the case with the cryptographic project of the Austrian Post.
In the pipeline
What follows now after the crypto stamp? Can we expect new issues of crypto stamps in the future?
Tin: We certainly hope that a project like this will be a launching platform for both us and our NodeFactory colleagues. Some ideas are already in their infancy, but we won’t spoil your surprise so quickly. Croatian Post has recognized the success of this project and we hope that it will dare to release a few future releases. Still, it is too early to talk about it, given that the crypto stamp was released only a few days ago.
According to many experts on the blockchain industry, NFT tokens will face a huge growth and expansion similar to what we are witnessing in the DeFi sector.
How do you two see the further development of the NFT sector ? What do you expect from the future of the blockchain industry in general?
Belma: Yes, those are some predictions. NFTs aren’t exactly new to the crypto world, but they’ve already made one boom with the CryptoKitties project. That gaming and collector aspect certainly exists, but I am more interested in how to tokenize physical resources with the help of NFTs and solve some real problems. I have already mentioned art, specifically digital art, where the uniqueness and authenticity of owning a photo are not guaranteed, but is transferred via USB and the like. Technology is certainly still evolving and is becoming more and more adapted to people with no prior technical knowledge. Because of this, I believe it will experience even greater usage over the years.
Belma, Tin, thank you very much for the time you took for this conversation .
I hope there will be opportunities for a new meeting again soon.
Belma: Thank you Vedran for your interest, engaging questions, and interest in technology from the technical side!
Tin: Thank you Vedran for your time and interest too! We certainly hope to meet again, I hope soon.
Crypto stamps can be purchased in the post offices of all major cities and through the Croatian Post online store.
For all questions related to the crypto stamp, check the FAQ page here.
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