UPU Defintion: Taxonomy of digital philatelic products

In line with the global trend towards digitalization, Posts are using technologies to improve performance and offer new innovative services and products. Recently, Posts worldwide have been experimenting with distributed ledger technologies (DLTs) for issuing stamps with various types of digital characteristics.

The following taxonomy classifies stamps with digital characteristics, issued by or on behalf of a designated operator:

Digital stamp
Any stamp issued in a digital format by or on behalf of a designated postal operator.

NFT stamp
A stamp issued in a digital format, with or without a physical counterpart, by or on behalf of a designated postal operator. The stamp is an NFT collectible on a blockchain, and has an innovation value for traditional philatelic collectors, non-traditional philatelic collectors, and potentially new audiencesincluding young people and digital natives.

Crypto stamp
A physical stamp with a digital counterpart in a blockchain issued by or on behalf of a des-ignated postal operator. The physicalstamp can be used for postal services according to its nominal value, while its digital counterpart is an NFT collectible on a blockchain. The stamp has an innovation value for traditional philatelic collectors, non-traditional philatelic collectors, and potentially new audiencesincluding young people and digital natives.

Crypto stamps and NFT stamps represent an innovation in philately to offer entirely new philatelic products in digital stamp art collectibles, philatelic stamp collectibles, or philatelic stamps. Innovation value lies in the security features of these new products, their overall design, value-added attributes, and, as applicable, the digital environment where these new products reside.

This taxonomy reflects today’s world of digital philately to help customers understand the types of products available and it will evolve to reflect its latest developments. Clear definitions of digital philatelic products can help communicate their characteristics promoting transparency in the market regarding their unique and differentiated features and attributes, and encouraging the healthy development of the secondary market for traditional philatelic collectors, non-traditional philatelic collectors, and potentially new audiences, including young people and digital natives.


Crypto stamps can refer to two different things:

In the context of traditional postage stamps, a “crypto stamp” is a digital version of a physical stamp that has been recorded on a blockchain. This allows for greater security and verification of the stamp’s authenticity and usage history.

“Crypto stamps” can also refer to digital collectible stamps that are issued and traded on blockchain-based marketplaces. These stamps are unique digital assets that are secured using blockchain technology and can be bought, sold, and traded like other cryptocurrencies.

In both cases, the use of blockchain technology helps ensure the authenticity and integrity of the stamps, making them more secure and reliable than traditional physical stamps.

NFT stands for “non-fungible token,” which is a type of digital asset that represents ownership or proof of authenticity of a unique item or piece of content, such as art, music, videos, or other forms of creative work.

Unlike traditional cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin or Ethereum, which are fungible and interchangeable with each other, each NFT is unique and has its own distinct properties, metadata, and ownership history that are recorded on a blockchain.

NFTs have gained popularity in recent years as a new way for artists and creators to monetize their digital creations and provide their fans with a new way to collect and own unique digital items. NFTs are typically bought and sold on blockchain-based marketplaces, with prices ranging from a few dollars to millions of dollars for highly sought-after items.

Blockchain is a decentralized, distributed digital ledger technology that records transactions or data in a secure, transparent, and immutable way. The technology uses cryptography to secure the data and ensures that it can be verified and audited by multiple parties without the need for a central authority or intermediary.

In a blockchain network, each participant (or node) has a copy of the ledger and can validate and approve transactions, which are then recorded in blocks and added to the chain in a chronological and linear way. Once a block is added to the chain, it cannot be altered or deleted, which makes the data stored on the blockchain tamper-proof and resistant to fraud or hacking.

Blockchain technology has many potential applications beyond cryptocurrencies, including supply chain management, voting systems, digital identity, asset tracking, and more. Its decentralized and transparent nature provides increased security, trust, and accountability in various industries and use cases.

Token :
In the context of blockchain and cryptocurrency, a token is a digital asset that represents a specific unit of value or asset on a blockchain network. Tokens can be used for a variety of purposes, such as facilitating transactions, accessing a network’s features or services, or representing a physical or digital asset.

There are several types of tokens, including:

  • Utility tokens: These tokens provide users with access to a specific network or service, such as using a platform’s features or paying for a service.
  • Security tokens: These tokens represent ownership in an underlying asset or security, such as stocks, bonds, or real estate.
  • Payment tokens: These tokens are used as a medium of exchange, similar to traditional currencies like dollars or euros.
  • Non-fungible tokens (NFTs): These tokens represent a unique asset, such as a piece of digital art, and cannot be exchanged for other tokens or assets.

Tokens are typically issued and managed using smart contracts, which are self-executing computer programs that run on a blockchain network. They can be bought, sold, and traded on cryptocurrency exchanges, and their value is determined by market supply and demand.

In the context of blockchain and cryptocurrency, a wallet is a digital application or device that allows users to securely store, manage, and transfer their digital assets, such as cryptocurrencies or tokens.

A cryptocurrency wallet typically consists of two components: a private key and a public key. The private key is a secret code that is used to access and manage the user’s digital assets, while the public key is a publicly visible code that is used to receive funds or assets from other users.

Wallets can come in different forms, such as software wallets (which are digital applications that can be downloaded onto a computer or mobile device), hardware wallets (which are physical devices that store the private key offline for added security), or paper wallets (which are physical pieces of paper that contain the private key in printed form).

When using a wallet, it is important to follow best practices for security, such as creating a strong password, enabling two-factor authentication, and keeping the private key or seed phrase (a sequence of words that can be used to recover the private key) in a safe and secure location.

NFC stands for Near Field Communication, which is a technology that allows for short-range wireless communication between two devices that are in close proximity to each other, typically within a few centimeters.

NFC technology is often used for contactless payments, where a user can make a payment by simply tapping their NFC-enabled smartphone or payment card on a compatible terminal. It can also be used for other applications such as data transfer, access control, and interactive marketing.

NFC uses electromagnetic radio fields to transmit data between devices, and is a subset of Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology. Unlike RFID, however, NFC devices can both read and write data, allowing for two-way communication.

NFC technology is becoming increasingly popular in mobile devices, with many smartphones and wearable devices now including NFC chips for mobile payments and other applications.

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