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Post offices adopting NFTs leads to a philately renaissance

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Philately? If you are a millennial, there is a good chance you used Google to find out that there is a word dedicated to collecting and studying postage stamps.This same search also paints the picture of a hobby in decline, as younger generations are increasingly preoccupied with their screens and the constant stream of dopamine hits served up by TikTok, Instagram, Twitter and other popular social media platforms.Two European postal services have looked to capitalize on the popularity of nonfungible tokens (NFTs) in recent years to reinvigorate the philately sector.

Cointelegraph caught up with Netherlands’ PostNL and the Austrian Post Office (PostAG) at the Blockchain Expo in Amsterdam to delve into their collaborative effort that has successfully married post stamps with NFTs.PostAG philately head Patricia Liebermann and PostNL product manager Sacha van Hoorn are a vivacious duo that have kindled a working friendship that seems to be the backbone of the NFT-powered renaissance of post stamp collecting in both countries.PostAG first explored the use of NFT post stamps in 2019 with real-world stamps issued with a digital twin NFT originally minted on the Ethereum blockchain.

Over the next two years, Austria’s post office continued the project with near-field communication (NFC) chip functionality introduced in 2021 to further the functionality, verifiability and security of post stamps.Reflecting on the dimming interest in philately, Liebermann unpacked the initial idea and its quick uptake some three years ago:Van Hoorn's efforts to continue innovating PostNL’s post stamp offerings had already explored the use of augmented reality and artificial intelligence on stamps, but PostAG’s NFTs exploits led her to reach out to

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