The United Arab Emirates’ postal operator is issuing nonfungible token (NFT) stamps to commemorate the federation’s 50th National Day, offering further evidence that digital collectibles are gaining mainstream appeal globally.
Emirates Post Group, or EPG for short, announced this week that it has become the first postal organization in the Middle East and North Africa to issue digital-collectible stamps. The new stamps, which will be unveiled on the Dec. 2, National Holiday, consist of blockchain-based digital twins that will be sold as digital collectibles linked to their physical counterparts.
A total of four stamps, each with a distinct design consisting of a national theme, will be issued. Buyers will be able to see the digital design linked to the physical stamp they purchase after scanning a QR code printed on the card. To activate the digital collectible on the blockchain, users must scan a QR code hidden behind the card.
EPG CEO Abdulla Mohammed Alashram told Cointelegraph that embracing NFTs aligns with the company's vision of becoming more digitally oriented. In the wake of the COVI-19 pandemic, EPG is "exploring how the implementation of blockchain technology can streamline and enhance our operations and introduce other competitive advantages."
When asked whether the NFT stamps are a one-off foray into blockchain or part of a broader strategy to embrace the new technology, Alashram said EPG plans to launch more digital stamps in the future:
"The adoption of the latest advancements in digital technology in our operations is also to address the technology-savvy generation who prefers digitally accessible services. As part of our efforts to bridge the gap between traditional postage stamps and the digital world, we are also working to launch more NFT stamps."
The UAE has adopted a progressive attitude towards blockchain technology and digital assets, with local regulators pushing a slew of crypto-friendly regulations. In September, local authorities established a new regulatory framework that supports cryptocurrency trading and related activities in Dubai’s economic free zone, potentially opening the door to wider adoption and innovation in the emirate.
In late October, the Dubai Financial Services Authority, also known as DFSA, clarified regulations around so-called investment tokens. The framework is intended to provide legal certainty for both investors and market operators.