NFTs by mail? US Postal Service plans to support postage tokens

The United States Postal Service will soon be stepping into the nonfungible token market. Not to release artwork or music, but rather to help customers purchase postage.

In an announcement on Tuesday, communications-as-a-service platform CaseMail said the USPS had certified its postage nonfungible tokens, or NFTs, for use in the United States. The tokens are digitally stamped on the USPS’ ePostage labels and the physical item being mailed, creating a verifiable chain of custody for digital and physical assets, as all data is recorded on the blockchain.

“Using NFTs to help protect a process that’s both familiar and important to everyone — mailing a letter or package — helps demystify this important new technology,” said CaseMail founder and CEO Joe Ruiz. “It is simply postage printed from the blockchain.”

The company will first offer the postage tokens “exclusively for legal professionals and government agencies,” with a rollout planned for the second quarter to include partnerships with providers of consumer and business services. The government agency reported $73.1 billion in revenue from postage and other services in fiscal year 2020, meaning digital postage stamps could be tapping into a large market.

CaseMail’s use case for NFTs is part of a seemingly larger trend for companies to incorporate real-world data on tokens. This year, individuals and technology firms have used NFTs to geotag street art and develop a device capable of recording and encrypting temperature, air quality and other data to tokens in a proof-of-presence verification.

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