Kialara is a ‘signature series’ of complex physical Bitcoins created by artist Maxfield Wyatt
Mellenbruch. While they consist of a coin with a private key hidden under a hologram,
they have little else in common with the conventional physical crypto-currency format. One
inherent danger with the hologram system is that it may technically be possible to inject a
special chemical underneath the hologram allowing it to be temporarily removed by gentle
peeling, leaving no obvious physical sign of doing so. This is no concern for Kialara coins, as
the edges of the hologram are rendered inaccessible by a piece of metal bolted with specially
treated screws. The head of each screw is drilled smooth to disallow unscrewing, and the
bolts are treated with a special adhesive called Loctite
RED which makes undoing them impossible unless
heated to over 500 degrees Fahrenheit. This means that
to access the private key, the hologram must be cut or
torn instead of peeled. In addition, there is still an added
layer of security: the entire coin is encased in a metal and
glass holder, which has no way of being opened without
violently smashing the glass. As for the private key, a
special coating protects it against damage from any light,
water, and gases. A Kialara physical Bitcoin is made to
endure for generations. While these pieces are certainly
functional wallets, their primary purpose is artistic. Mr.
Mellenbruch considers the public and private keys to be
a unique ‘medium’ in his art.
With Kialara, Max collaborated with HAVEN, an
initiative that builds ‘functioning beehive sculptures’ in
urban areas to provide wild honeybees with a
safe sanctuary. Donating 10 USD per order to
the project, he raised 4,750 USD in just a few