Three Facebook Libra supporters distance themselves from project

A substantial number of backers of Facebook’s Libra cryptocurrency project are said to be considering backing out due to growing pressure from regulators.

According to a report from the Financial Times, in particular three firms – which were not named – expressed concerns over being seen to be linked to the project after regulators and politicians around the world raised concerns over its potential threat to financial stability.

While Facebook’s Libra project was said to already have 28 founding partners when unveiled last month, that isn’t quite the case, according to Visa’s CEO and board chairman, Alfred F. Kelly, Jr. Therefore VISA is considered to be amongst the three who now seek withdrawal as an option. In a Q3 2019 earnings call, VISA CEO Kelly responded to a question on his firm’s involvement with the Libra project from Bryan C. Keane, an analyst at Deutsche Bank Securities.

Keane asked, “Just wanted to ask on Facebook’s Libra, there’s some confusion in the market on how to think about that. Is it a strategic partner for Visa or potential disruptive threat? Just curious your thoughts and level of expected Visa involvement in Facebook Libra.”

Playing down the firm’s involvement with Libra, Kelly responded that “it’s important to understand the facts.”. He continued:

Going forward, the decision to fully join Facebook’s cryptocurrency project would be decided by a “number of factors, including obviously the ability of the association to satisfy all the requisite regulatory requirements,”

As suggested, since its release of a Libra white paper in mid-June, Facebook has been defending itself from a storm of calls from regulators worldwide for more information on how the scheme would work, amid concerns over what affect it could have on financial stability and users’ privacy.

The EU was recently reported to have even moved to investigate the Libra Association over potential antitrust issues. Over in the U.S., lawmakers have called for Libra to be halted until regulatory issues have been addressed.

As a result, the firms are considering pulling out of the Libra project, the FT said.

Since its debut in mid-June, Libra is said to have been joined by 28 member firms who have paid up to $10 million to be part of the project. These include major firms such as Visa, Mastercard, Paypal and Uber. Visa’s CEO revealed last month that the firms had signed “nonbinding letter of intent to join Libra,” and were not yet fully committed to the enterprise.

“It’s going to be difficult for partners who want to be seen as in [regulatory] compliance” to be publicly supporting Libra, one of the companies told the FT. A Libra backer also said that Facebook should have addressed the regulatory issues before announcing the project to lessen the “pushback.”

The frustrations appear to be going both ways, with the sources saying that Facebook itself is unhappy that the Libra Association members aren’t voicing support for the project.

“Facebook is tired of being the only people putting their neck out,” said one of the members.

Facebook and the Libra Association would not comment when contacted by the FT.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg image via Shutterstock edited by CryptoRobby

Source: Financial Times, Cointelegraph & CryptoRobby

Winklevoss brothers believe in Facebook’s Libra coin

Winklevoss twin brothers, co-founders of cryptocurrency exchange Gemini

Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss, co-founders of crypto exchange Gemini, admitted in an interview with CNN that they were ready to partner with Facebook for the Libra project.

Crypto enthusiasts Winklevoss brothers told CNN’s Poppy Harlow that they would close their eyes to their rivalry with Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg for his cryptocurrency project Libra. Whether or not they reach a deal with the social media giant, the twins believe in Libra’s potential. They said that Facebook’s digital currency project was great for the market in a period when cryptos are everywhere. Cameron noted:

I think there is a day in the future where we can’t live without crypto, or imagine a world before crypto.

CNN Interview August 18, 2019

The potential collaboration between Gemini co-founders and Mark Zuckerberg might materialize despite their old legal fight over the origins of the social media behemoth and who should be called Facebook creators.

It should come as no surprise that Zuckerberg actually consulted the brothers when developing Libra.

Back in 2011, when the dispute began, CNN sarcastically predicted that the only thing that could stop “Winklevoss twins’ legal crusade against Facebook” was the end of the universe that is estimated to come in several billion years from now. In the end, Libra might become more powerful than the anticipated heat death. This is true at least in the context of Zuckerberg-Winklevoss brothers rivalry.

Besides, the twins took solace in their role in the rapidly growing crypto industry after creating Gemini.

Tyler Winklevoss explained:

Facebook was a dispute, but it didn’t really define who we were as people. Gemini’s much more of a representation of who we are, what we stand for, what we’re interested in.

Gemini might join Libra Association

The twins, once labeled Bitcoin billionaires, have been in talks with the social media giant about joining the Libra Association. The latter is a decentralized entity that should comprise 100 members by 2020. Facebook has already unveiled 28 founding members, including Visa, MasterCard, PayPal, and Coinbase.

Tyler and Cameron said they want to learn more about Libra before making the final decision. Besides becoming part of the association, Gemini might also list Libra when or if it gets launched. Indeed, there is a minor possibility that Libra might never launch because of the regulatory pressure.

However, the Winklevoss brothers are confident in Libra’s future. Moreover, Cameron expects that each of the FAANG giants, including Amazon, Apple, Google, and Netflix, will get into crypto at some point.

Still, it is very surprising that the Winklevosses, one of the most serious enemies of Marc Zuckerberg now show interest in his most important project!

Source: CNN, Bitcoinist

Vocabulary of Ethereum 2.0

Ethereum is emerging from a little child to the teenager phase. This blockchain of Vitalik Buterin has hosted thousands of decentralised applications. More than 180.000 tokens have been created, most of them for testing purposes but still 2000 of them still actively traded and found on coinmarketcap.com

The next stage of this blockchain is called SERENITY or  Ethereum 2.0. It is the long awaited  Proof-of-Stake version, together with some huge upgrades on the scalability side. When you have a more thorough look into Serenity (or Ethereum 2.0!), the first impression is the abundance of completely new terms. What is a crosslink? Is a slot a block? No, it isn’t. Is an “attestor“ the same thing as a “validator“?

Below you finde the most used terms in Vitalik´s new ETH sandbox two point zerooo. This list is focuses on the most prominent details you might have questions about.

Beacon Chain

one chain to rule them all proof-of-stake chain includes beacon blocks the consensus layer for everything manages validators applies rewards and penalties serves as an anchor point for the shards through cross-links

Shards

1024 of them semi independent chains include shard blocks periodically the state of the shard blocks is recorded on the beacon chain through crosslinks once a block on the beacon chain is finalised, the shard blocks referenced in the included crosslinks are considered finalised each shard has a committee of validators attesting blocks

Crosslinks

a summary of the shard’s state only reference of the shards in the beacon chain

Slot period of time in which a block proposer propose a block for attestation slots might be empty slots are filled with attested blocks

Epoch

a number of slots (currently 64) after which validators are reshuffled in committees

Validators

users that have deposited 32eth in the validator deposit contract and run a validator node they can be inactive (don’t run as an actual validator yet), active (validating), pending (opted into becoming a validator but stuck in the entry queue) and exiting (no longer want to validate and stuck in the exit queue)

Block Proposers

random validators chosen by the beacon chain to propose blocks for validation/attestation there will be one block proposer per slot for the beacon chain and one proposer per slot for each of the shards

Attestations

votes in regards to the validity of a shard block or beacon

Committees

random groups of validators chosen by the beacon chain to attest the validity of blocks (beacon & shard) target of minimum 128 validators per committee

ETH2

base currency of the beacon chain will be obtained initially from rewards and by locking ETH1 in the validator deposit contract

Validator Deposit Contract

smart contract on the POW chain (in our case, the Ethereum Mainnet) once ETH1 funds are locked in this smart contract, and event log is emitted that should be read by the beacon chain and the same amount of ETH2 should be allocated to the account, now considered a validator this mechanism might change in the future until phase 2 ends the transfer of ETH1 to ETH2 is a one way street, can’t get ETH1 back, but there is an escape hatch to sell your stake

Ethereum 2.0 phases

Phase 0 — The beacon chain

managing validators and stakes organizing and electing committees and proposers applying consensus rules rewarding and penalizing/slashing

Phase 1 — Shards

constructing the shard chains and blocks anchoring (cross-linking) shard blocks to beacon chain

Phase 2 — Execution Environments

eWASM 

based virtual machines for execution. 

one per shard. ability to make transactions

ability to run and interact with smart contracts

cross-shard communication

Authoritative info is hard to come by on this subject so many thanks to Ben Edgington for setting me straight on some of the things above. Would also like to thank Danny Ryan and Everett Muzzy for additional corrections.

Facebook´s Libra Cryptocurrency is a step backwards compared to Bitcoin

Pic: Cointelegraph

Find below a translation of an interview I gave to Cointelegraph on Facebook´s Libra coin. Full interview in German language here. Interview by Markus Kasanmanscheff

In the USA, for example, the parliamentary committee for financial services has called on Facebook to temporarily stop Libra; more than 30 US lobby associations had previously formulated a similar demand. In other countries such as France, Germany, Russia and Singapore, Libra has so far also met with little approval.

The presentation of the whitepaper of Facebook’s crypto project Libra for a global digital crypto currency has caused a lot of unrest not only in the crypto scene. While the Binance crypto exchange, for example, has a positive attitude towards the planned crypto currency and is even planning to become a node for participation, criticism and warnings are hailing towards Facebook, especially from politicians and supervisory authorities.

To shed some light on the situation, Cointelegraph asked eight renowned crypto experts from German-speaking countries about their views on Facebook Libra. Robert Schwertner (CryptoRobby) explains why Facebook is looking for a “new story” with the Libra project and why the planned Stablecoin is a step backwards compared to Bitcoin and Co.


Libra is not innovative at all

One thing is for sure: Libra is not an ingenious invention of Mark Zuckerberg and his Facebook group, but a logical development of blockchain technology and also of crypto currencies like Bitcoin.

CryptoRobby:

This text is a translated version of Cointelegraph original

In principle, every crypto money is a specialized e-mail or messenger service. Whether you send information as text or as a money message makes hardly any difference. As the world’s largest messenger service group, it is therefore obvious for Facebook to offer a crypto currency and thus support its core business as a social media platform, advertising group and news agency. In general, Facebook seems to have reached its zenith, the younger generation hardly uses Facebook, and user numbers are declining. Facebook urgently needed a new “story”.

However, Libra is not innovative at all. On the contrary, if you read through the technical descriptions, it quickly becomes clear: the centrally controlled Libra Coin is a step backwards compared to Bitcoin, Ethereum and other truly decentralised crypto currencies.

Libra has many enemies

And even before Libra is even in circulation, it is already making many enemies. As a so-called stable coin, Libra is tied to a basket of currencies. Thus price increases and price rises are excluded from the outset. Sounds good, but in practice it can mean that some currencies, especially in emerging and developing countries, can come under pressure because an alternative currency is available that reacts less flexibly.

In Europe, we have learned that the euro can have a negative impact on weaker economies because a state can no longer control its monetary policy, which has led to social unrest like in Greece, for example.

It must therefore be said that the match is not between Libra and Bitcoin, but between central banks, financial supervisors and other financial institutions in the world and the new Libra coin.

Libra has many enemies: central banks feel uncomfortable because a corporation suddenly prints its own money, which means crossing borders radically and losing power and control. This could deprive the state of its monopoly on money printing and monetary policy. Banks are also very critical of Libra because suddenly remittances are made past them.

The fact that Facebook continues to collect enormous amounts of data with Libra alarming. Providing Facebook with our financial date makes us even more transparent. Surveillance Capitalism is being taken to extremes here. Although the Group asserts that the transaction data will not be combined with other social media data, Mark Zuckerberg is under heavy fire in the USA and Europe for the misuse of data.

Regulation necessary


Currently the heated discussions about Libra are helping the other crypto currencies. In the short term, Bitcoin’s share price has risen sharply, and the lagging Altcoins may also correct upwards in the near future.

Another exciting question is: If a private company can suddenly print money, what happens if the company goes bankrupt? To what extent is the currency secured? Since the financial crisis of 2008, we have known that there is a “too big to fail”. Libra’s concept, however, envisages its use by the broad masses, which inevitably makes the crypto currency systemically relevant. But if the service is suddenly discontinued due to the bankruptcy of the companies involved, many people can lose everything they own.

So you have to put Libra in a strong position and that is only possible if regulators find clear rules for the new crypto money.

In India, where Facebook has more users than in the USA, a law is currently being passed prohibiting the use of crypto currencies and punishing them with up to 10 years in prison. This should be a first answer to Libra, further states will follow.

A report that Mark Zuckerberg had already met with the head of the British Central Bank made people sit up and take notice. Although the content of the meeting is not officially known, Libra was quite certainly on the agenda.

It is pleasing that crypto currencies are moved by the discussion around Libra again more into the limelight and humans argue with it increased.

One thing is also clear: there will be digital currencies in the future. It remains to be seen whether they will be put into circulation by states or by private corporations or – as in the case of Bitcoin – by a computer program that cannot be controlled centrally.

More of #CryptoRobby on Twitter @crpytorobby_ and LinkedIn

More on Libra: How Facebook lies about Libra

How Facebook lies about Libra!

#SlapInTheFaceCoin

After months and months of speculation, Facebook has finally revealed the details of its would-be cryptocurrency challenger. However, what looks very revolutionary, is rather to be seen critical !

LibraMyth No 1: A blockchain allows Libra to function

Libra is enabled by what is called in Zuckerberg´s White paper as the “Libra Blockchain” which is described as a “Decentralised Programmable Database”. However, Libra blockchain is a lot but NOT a blockchain. Some of the very important characteristics are missing. Normal blockchains add blocks to the chain. Libra neither uses blocks nor uses a chain! According to their technical paper it will be a “single data structure that records the history of transactions and states over time”.

Facebook wants to define the expression blockchain, because they use technologies associated with blockchains such as Merkle Trees, hashes, and a consensus mechanisms and therefore it should be called blockchain. However, I am very against the fact that Facebook should get to decide what a blockchain is and what not. And furthermore: What Facebook tries to achieve definitely does not need a blockchain at all.

LibraMyth No 2: Libra is decentralised

In the Libra Whitepaper provided, it is stated that Libra is a decentralised system. However, unlike Cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Libra won´t use the Proof of Work consensus mechanism that incentivises miners to keep the network going. Instead Facebook and the other 27 founding partners of the Libra association will run their own nodes that validate Libra transactions. The partners include Uber, PayPal and MasterCard. Each one has paid $10 million for the privilege. Facebook says that Libra will move to a more permissonless system in the future. But we don´ t provide any details on how and when that will happen.

LibraMyth No 3: Libra can reduce payment fees

Fees for transferring moneyare high due to several reasons like political ones or technical which are associated with the complicated process of moving money from one jurisdiction to another. Although it is true that fees for cross-border payments are way toohigh, we already have many companies which try to work on that issue like TransferWise or Revolut. However, as long as the majority of people use US-Dollar or Euro or other FIAT currencies they will have to exchange their money into Libra which will come at a cost, which means: There are transactions costs twice: in and out of Libra.

LibraMyth No 4: Libra protects users from data-based conflicts of interest

Pah! Facebook has created a subsidiary called Calibra through which all its Libra related financial services will be offered. This is the only part of the organisation seeking to be licensed, and the license it is going for is only a money transmission license. This is odd given the system’s ETF-like structure and grander deposit taking aspirations. Calibra promises only to use users’ personal financial data for cross selling purposes if users give them permission to do so. This possibly means Calibra will do everything in its power to incentivise that consent box is clicked.

LibraMyth No 5: Facebook wants to help the Unbanked people

Seriously??? Facebook wants you to think that Libra is about helping the unbanked and the reason for introducing the Libra cryptocurrency introduction shall increase financial inclusion and to bring in the in the 1.7 billion adults around the world who remain outside the banking system. But it´s not clear how the unbanked will be able to buy Libra when these people have no bank account particularly if Libra wants to keep regulators happy by doing proper checks on its users to avoid money laundering. Libra is also unlikely to help people in countries with rapidly depreciating currencies as those countries tend to put in capital controls to prevent a run on their banks. Facebook has never shown interest in the unbanked before, and I am not sure why it´s suddenly so interested.

LibraMyth: No 6 Libra legitimises Bitcoin

Libra calls itself a “low volatility cryptocurrency”, but just as the Libra blockchain isn´t a real blockchain, Libra isn´t a real cryptocurrency either! That´s because it´s issued by a centralised entity, doesn´t run on a real blockchain and rather than being subject to the whims of the cryptomarkets it is pegged to a basked of fiat currencies. So it´s much more akin to something like the Gemini dollar, a stable coin issued by the Winklevoss twins exchange. And it is probably not a coincidence that the twins´ longtime rival Mark Zuckerberg chose another star sign for the name of the coin.

LibraMyth No 7: Libra will comply with all regulations

Libra says its Founding Members are “committed to working with authorities to shape a regulatory environment that encourages technological innovation while maintaining the highest standards of consumer protection”.

Libra says its Founding Members are committed to working with authorities to shape a regulatory environment

Really? Openly stating the intent “to shape a regulatory environment” rather than comply with the existing regulatory environment is a veiled assertion that Facebook is more powerful than the state, and that regulators should have to buckle to its will. While Facebook probably does have some sway over national bodies, to assume it can also sway international regulatory bodies like the BIS — which happen to have a bee in their bonnet about the use and abuse of customer floats by non-banks — is truly ambitious.

Overall the use of words blockchain and cryptocurrency is more about PR value than substance!

And ever thought about the fact that if we have a currency issued by companies: What if these companies are going bankrupt? Are they already TOO BIG TO FAIL? Another interesting aspect is who is NOT part of the consortium: Amazon, Google, Apple. And there is not a single bank! Will talk about that soon!

Sources: Cryptorobby, Alphaville, FinancialTimes

#ReturnOnSociety #Libra #Facebook #LibraLies #LibraMyths #CryptoCurrency #CryptoRobby

Who are the NEW PLAYERS at the Austrian Blockchain Landscape?

The Austrian Blockchain Landscape was initially created in January 2018 by enliteAI and CryptoRobby.  EnliteAI published the Landscape also on their website and there are also Landscapes on AI, VR/AR and more.

The blockchain landscape includes startups, accelerators and universities – as well as a large number of public institutions, initiatives, events and communities. We take this strong backing as a promising sign that the Austrian Blockchain landscape goes well beyond adopting new technology, but is also discussed in a wider societal context.

This updated version v2.1 of July 2019 includes
31 new organisations and projects with a total of 142. 
New companies & institutions are marked with “v2.1”

What´s new:

With Scytale Ventures Austria has now it´s own
Blockchain Venture Captial Fund!

The most interesting finding is that many new startups entered the scene and that quite some new companies in exchange, trading and investing:

  • eloop.to is a e-Car sharing startup, cars are tokenised on the 0bsnetwork.com blockchain
  • element36 combines banks with bank accounts. The company is located in Switzerland with an Austrian founder and team and a branch in Austria.
  • gridsingularity is a very active energy blockchain startup with Austrian founders and the company located in Vienna.
  • helpar is a help-desk blockchain project and startup with the intention to build a world wide technical help-desk with reward token
  • Linx4 provides blockchain based services for banking and insurance. The idea is to receive trustworthy real-time information about machines and production parks.
  • Jaroona creates automated, distributed cybersecurity guardian with the power to protect entire blockchains, DAPPs and personal assets and data

New trading and brokering platforms and liquidity providers are

Cobra cryptocurrency brokerage service

autowhale focusses on market making, blockchain analysis and cryptocurrency and blockchain-related consultancy

Trever is a liquidity provider, which develops services to ensure liquid markets, tradable conditions and decrease market obstacles

insticore  A digital agency, providing  Blockchain educational certification programs together with Lauder Business School and FH Technikum

iQCashNow ATMs for cryptocurrencies

Cryptix offers a new payment token for retail businesses.

Blackmanta Capital offers tokenisation services for enterprises and startups, it has a branch in Austria.

For new law firms are

Binder Grösswang Attorney at Law

Wolf Theiss Lawyers

Lansky Ganzger & Partner Attorney at Law

Wieneroiter Raffling Tenschert & Partner Attorney at Law

New blockchain software developers from Vorarlberg:
4yu Blockchain Tech.at

Lenzing is tracing its fibers on blockchain

Erste Group is active with its Dealfabrix Initiative . The Bank is also active in international blockchain consortia

DiePresse Newspaper has been added to the blockchain as they provide regular detailed content on blockchain and cryptocurrency topics.

‍Some organisations and startups halted their activities and we removed them from the Blockchain Landscape. The really promising car sharing startup DriveDeal.io halted it´s activity. However, their whitepaper is still one of the best on token economics. Minebox has been sold to a New Zealand company. CBDoken.com has been removed as they halted their activities.

Key Findings of 2019, Outlook on 2020

  • We see several Security Token offerings being prepared behind the scenes which will be launched later in 2019 and 2020.
  • With Facebook introducing the Libra cryptocurrency we expect that blockchain technology will receive more attention by large companies especially from banking, insurance and related financial services industry

You’re welcome to reuse the infographic below as long as the content remains unmodified, in full and proper reference to the source is mentioned.

Would you like your company or institution to be included in future updates?  Mail to robert(@)schwertner.com

Blockchain Companies & Startups

Applications

This section contains applications in the energy sector and companies developing closed blockchain systems with for a specific application like ticketing, security, e-commerce, taxation or invoicing.

Consulting

In this section consulting agencies which focus on blockchain related advice are listed.

Crypto Mining

Companies in this category offer either mining hardware or mine for cryptocurrencies.

Development & Software

This box contains important software developers with experience in smart contract programming related coding.

Exchange, Trading, Investing

This category focuses on exchange of crypto currencies, Crypto teller machines, trading and investing in blockchain projects and ICOs.

Legal & Tax

Due to the high activity in the Blockchain space many law firms have experience in setting up and supporting ICOs.

Startup

This section contains applications startups which offer coins, and companies developing closed blockchain systems with for a specific application like ticketing, security, e-commerce, taxation or invoicing.

Enablers & Extended Ecosystem

Universities & Educational Institutions

Austrian universities conduct blockchain both economical and technical research. At the end of 2017 Vienna’s University of Economics and Business launched the Institute of Cryptoeconomics, which will focus on new business models. In addition a number of private institutions offers education and trainings, covering blockchain basics up to investments,  development and business case modelling.

Research

Extra-university research facilities are small in number but contribute substantially to blockchain related science and applied research.

OrganiSations & Communities

Austria has a very large blockchain community with more than 10.000 blockchainers – with local organisations in each province.

Public

Activities from public players is strong in Austria, both in form of initiatives, as well as in pilot projects like open government data.

Media

Four publishing enterprises have been added, they are very active in the crypto sphere and provide specific news and content related to cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology.

Accelerators & Incubators

A healthy blockchain eco-system not only requires developers, finance experts and researchers, but also mentoring and finance from seasoned entrepreneurs. Fortunately, there are accelerators and incubators across the country, often linked with co-working spaces and local organisations.

Conferences

‍Source: EnliteAI & Cryptorobby
Feedback: robert(@)schwertner.com

Austrian Post Launches World´s First Crypto Stamp

The Austrian Post has presented the world’s first blockchain stamp. With this release Austria´s largest mail delivery service links the analog and the digital era.

On June 11, 2019 the blockchain-based stamp has officially been presented to prominent guests in Vienna by the Head of Product Management at Austrian Post AG branches Stefan Nemeth.

It can as well be fully used for the carriage of a postal item, and also as a virtual collector’s item. The digital complement is securely stored on the Ethereum blockchain, which is an extraordinary type of decentralised and distributed data storage, and it falls in what is called digital purse known as a Wallet that is absolutely preserved by the real owner.

Brand Block Resembles a Bank Card

When you look at this brand block, it is in the form of a bank card. On the right side of the block, there is all crucial identifications concealed under scratch layers (scratched off in the pic already it shows a sample key). The Wallet holder has full access to the code and all other attached codes including the “Secret Word List,” thus possesses the digital stamp. When the crypto stamp is transferred from one particular wallet to another, then the transaction is effectively documented and accepted in the blockchain.

And the left-hand side is the real postage stamp which can be sent often by flouting the block apart at the encoded breaking point. Unicorn, a beast with one long horn protruding from its forehead, is pictured on the crypto stamp and is the heraldic ceremonial animal of the entire Ethereum community. 

It is absolutely crazy and awesome at the same time. The Austrian Post Office released a crypto stamp 6 days ago and complete sets already sold for 999 USD each on ebay. In Austria there even were sales for over 1000 Euros just for the red stamp alone. The yellow and blue stamps also reached high prices. So what is this all about? Why is this physical collectible so highly sought after and what actually is a crypto stamp???

1. THE CRYPTO STAMP IN GENERAL

Well it is quite simple: the Austrian Post Office decided to give Cryptos some Kudos and brought the world a real-world-use-case. They simple created the VERY FIRST CRYPTO STAMP worldwide. The stamp is limited and just 150K are made. But there is more! The stamp exists in a physical-analog form AND in a digital form. In its physical form the stamps look all the same, but if we scan the QR code, we can see the actual color of the stamp. There are FIVE DIFFERENT COLORS and every color has a different limitation. Austrian Post has developed an affinity for cryptocurrencies and blockchain in recent years. After cooperation with cryptocurrency exchante Bitpanda (sale of cryptocurrencies in branches) and Coinfinity (Bitcoin machines), the post has now entered a third cooperation with a crypto firm. The world’s first cryptocurrency and blockchain postage stamp, developed together with blockchain experts of Capacity  has just been introduced to the market.

The five different colours:

undefined

RED VERSION: limited to 1,500 pieces

YELLOW VERSION: limited to 10,000 pieces

BLUE VERSION: limited to 20,000 pieces

GREEN VERSION: limited to 40,000 pieces

BLACK VERSION: limited to 78,500 pieces

Ethereum blockchain

When purchased, the stamp set comes in two parts. As pictured in the first image, the left part, which shows a #unicorn associated with Ethereum, functions as a standard stamp that can be used to send mail. The QR code shows the digital color and the limitation. The right section, on the other hand, contains a unique identifier and is concealed under scratch layers. The code is used to save the stamp on the Ethereum Blockchain, the digitised and unique stamp is then available in an Ether-Wallet and can be transferred to another one. The amount of ETH per stamp is around 0.001666666 ETH!

Almost sold out in 14 days!

When I checked the online shop, the stamps were almost SOLD OUT – and this after 14 days. What does this show us? CRYPTO has arrived in the heads of the people and a lot of collectors and crypto lovers want to have a PIECE OF CRYPTO HISTORY in their hands.

It is incredible! The crypto community and other stamp collectors really want a piece of this first limited stamp and it seems this is because of the fact that it is ONE OF A KIND. Never before an analog AND digital stamp was produced. On Ebay complete sets sold for 999 USD each. So far I could spot around 3-4 sales.

Crazy prices on ebay:

On ebay the new crypto stamp went viral. Several offers for a red stamp are above 1000,- EUR. There is even one for 9,989 EUR:

Link https://www.ebay.at/itm/CRYPTO-STAMP-Rot-Red-Edition-limitiert-1500-Stuck-WORLDWIDE-Ethereum-NEW/233261845200?hash=item364f7d4ad0:g:S6YAAOSwX4FdCIL7

Also yellow and blue stamps have high prices and I thought, I have to dig deeper. At ebay Germany and Austria a lot of offers can be found.

Conclusion

It´s quite interesting how two world´s are combined with the crypto stamp. The classic conservative philately world of old fashioned stamp collectors with the new world of crypto enthusiasts and blockchain geeks. At least it is for sure, that this stamp is just amazing and I really like the idea. The fact, that a part of the stamps will be used is also cool, because many people will throw them away because they have no clue what it is. So the stamps will be even more limited and the best is: the cryptos on it are LOST, if nobody uses the keys.