Eternal Physical Crypto

Introducing HaLo Chips by Kong Land

The Ambassador
KONG Land Embassy
Published in
4 min readMay 17, 2022


One of the most fundamental characteristics that distinguishes cryptocurrencies from any other asset class is self custody. Unlike fiat currencies held by banks or game content mediated by corporations, crypto assets can be fundamentally owned by someone into perpetuity — effectively eternal with respect to the protocols they are created on.

Kong Cash, the original demo of secure chips paired with smart contracts.

Starting from Cash

Kong Cash is the first physical crypto entity with similar properties to cryptocurrency — a bearer instrument with its own cryptographic identity that is owned by whomever holds it. Since the release of Kong Cash in late 2019 we’ve shared in the building excitement for the potential of physical crypto assets.

Creators have started to experiment with QR codes and off-the-shelf NFC tags as a means of linking their physical creations to digital assets. For one-time claims and airdrops, QR codes and NFC URLs are an ideal solution for temporary crypto assets — they’re low cost and easy to deploy. However, in most cases these solutions are incapable of creating a long-lived identity for the object through cryptographic attestations.

On-Chain Records — where music NFTs meet vinyl.

With Kong Land and SiLo (“Silicon Locked Contract”) tags, we expanded from crypto cash to the ability to create any kind of physical crypto asset which doesn’t require an intermediary for authentication or ownership. SiLo tags are the first product dedicated to creating eternal physical crypto.

Based on their own self-generated cryptographic identities, SiLo-chipped items are capable of attesting to their own existence and acts as their own authorities. LootLARP axes, On-Chain Records and the EIP-1559 bong all are verifiable as physical crypto objects in and of themselves which can transact, receive airdrops and sign messages on chain like any externally owned account.

The first generation of SiLo tags were integrated into MetaFactory merch and Mattereum collectables last year. As interest grew in SiLos, we faced a new obstacle: the worsening chip shortage meant that we could no longer supply our v1 tag at scale. Faced with this challenge we began development of a second generation tag with several important goals in mind —

  • The ability to self-generate an asymmetric key-pair and sign messages
  • Reasonable security guarantees with respect to key extraction
  • Consistent chip supply

Introducing HaLos

At EthDenver we unveiled this latest generation of Kong tags, HaLos. HaLos — Hardware Locked Contracts — share a number of similarities with SiLos with some important distinctions.

HaLos are thin, don’t require a battery and are about the size of a U.S. Quarter.

Unlike SiLos which require a dedicated app, users can interact with HaLos entirely via a mobile browser. And, instead of using the P256 elliptic curve like Kong Cash, they use Ethereum’s native secp256k1 which means they can directly sign transactions and messages, massively reducing the cost of verification on chain. Most importantly we believe that we can consistently source reasonable volumes of HaLos for projects and creators making novel crypto experiences in the real world.

HaLos have distinct security guarantees from SiLos in that their cryptographic logic is reliant on some firmware level guarantees. This means that while HaLo’s could be used in any application, we believe they are best targets at physical assets with values of $100–10,000 rather than ultra high-end applications where SiLos are better suited. As compared to easily copied QR codes and URLs on NFC tags, HaLo’s can attest to their own identity through the generation of signatures.

What will you build?

We believe that the potential for physical crypto assets is only limited by the imagination of the creator. HaLo chips offer strong guarantees about the authenticity of an item, but the possibilities for linking on-chain assets are much greater.

Creators can not only deposit assets like NFTs and ERC20’s that can be claimed by future holders, but also leverage HaLos for making physical soulbound NFTs. We imagine a future where the value of physical items like clothing and collectables will be determined more by the assets and experiences tied to the item on-chain than the material it’s created from.

HaLos are waterproof and can be embedded in garments or soft goods.

HaLo chips are in stock and available for projects today. We’re prioritizing their release for $CITIZENs, however, we also welcome anyone who is looking to creating physical crypto experiences to reach out or join the Kong Land Discord to order chips. Alongside HaLo chips, we’re building out additional on-chain functions to make it easy for any assets or brand to link chips to their creations.

Kong Land is on a mission to improve the state of the art of cryptographic chips for the self-custody and creation of physical crypto assets. We look forward to working not only with creators, but also manufacturers, platforms and projects that make it easy for anyone to mint physical crypto assets and experiences.