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New York City pride parade will also be marching through the metaverse

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The New York City Pride March kicks off on June 26 and typically attracts as many as 2 million participants and spectators to make it the largest event for the LGBT community in North America. This year, it’s also happening in the metaverse and not just in June.

As concerts and performances take place in real life on streets and venues in New York next week, MetaPride Land, a metaverse LGBT event organizer, is hosting a series of celebrations in the Sandbox and Decentraland.

MetaPride Land founder Matt Stevenson, a former media executive at Time magazine, said the metaverse opens up doorways to a much broader community regardless of geographic location and circumstances. 

“There are still 68 countries across the world where it’s illegal to be gay. In the United States, there are over 200 bills that are targeting our community in some way, shape or form,” Stevenson told Forkast. “It felt really important that going into this June, we provide a space that’s accessible regardless of where you are, to come in and celebrate your life.”

Stevenson said that he’d like to build a space in the metaverse that resembles real-life LGBT centers where queer people can come to seek resources, such as counseling services. 

He isn’t the only one with such ideas about how the metaverse as a technology of the developing Web 3.0 iteration of the internet can offer opportunities for marginalized communities to connect and freely express themselves. 

Decentraland and the Sandbox, the two leading developers in the metaverse, are organizing pride events to coincide with New York celebrations. 

People of Crypto, a metaverse innovation lab based in New York, plans to use June to airdrop 8,430 NFT avatars for use in the Sandbox, which will feature various styles, sexualities and skin shades.

People of Crypto and the Sandbox plan to launch “The Valley of Belonging” on June 24 to build what it calls a “cultureverse” that invests in and promotes projects that represent people of color and LGBT creators.

Decentraland will host a series of events and panel discussions in its virtual world, with topics covering LGBT inclusion and financial empowerment for queer people.

POC Lab Pride Party in The Sandbox
People of Crypto developed a social quest game in the Sandbox as part of the metaverse’s pride celebration. Image: POC

“I firmly believe that Web3 can only scale if diversity and inclusion are rooted at the foundation of what is being built,” Simone Berry, co-founder of People of Crypto, told Forkast in an interview.

“Through offering different narratives, creating a game that really promotes your authentic self, non-player characters that are in wheelchairs, nonbinary black characters and LGBTQ characters, we’re able to actually customize our avatars so that you can self-identify,” Berry said.

Akbar Hamid, another co-founder of People of Crypto, said the team had been in the Web3 industry for a long while and “we’ve seen the lack of diversity in the space.”

Beside creating NFT avatars, People of Crypto is developing a game to live in the Sandbox, where gamers go through quests to learn to express themselves.

“Our game is a social experience,” said Berry, adding that gamers go through different phases to interact with non-player characters, and talk about differences and identity.

“We understand that gaming is predominantly a white male place, but that’s probably mostly because the stories are also built for that,” she said.

poc avatar2
POC offers a range of NFT avatars for its LGBT quest game in the Sandbox. Image: POC

Stevenson at MetaPride Land said it can take a lot of courage for queer people to step into a physical building to connect with each other, and for many, the internet becomes the first and only safe space for them to interact.

“What we love about what Web3 and the metaverse provides is that level of autonomy, but also the safety from experiencing it from your home,” Stevenson said. 

“Many of us don’t feel safe even leaving our homes, leaving our bedrooms, or engaging with our families or friends for fear of oppression and not being accepted.”

David Cash, CEO of Cash Labs and an event curator for Decentraland, told Forkast that the metaverse allows community to happen “in a more tangible way” compared to other online platforms.

On a more practical level, Cash said, “what if you live in Saudi Arabia or a country where being queer is chastised, and what if you can’t celebrate pride openly and publicly and in your own skin?”

panel
Decentraland hosts a series of LGBT panels. Image: David Cash’s Twitter

As Web3 progresses, it’s important to ensure representation in the early stage of development, Stevenson said.

“As we engage more queer individuals or disenfranchised individuals in these spaces, at least we’ll have a voice in how things should be built, to make sure that we are represented or our best interests are represented as these platforms are being built,” Stevenson said.

“I still feel like oftentimes our communities are just being leveraged to check that [diversity] box.”

While June has become a significant month for the LGBT community with all kinds of celebrations, the advocacy should not just end there, according to Cash and Stevenson.

“Every June, you have a lot of brands and businesses and companies and corporations that come in and throw rainbow flags all over their logos and sell products that are targeted to our community,” Stevenson said. “And then once June is over, all of those things kind of disappear.”

“It can’t end there,” said Cash, who helps Decentraland organize LGBT events and panel discussions in the metaverse. 

“For queer people, we’re queer 365 days of the year. We don’t turn it off when June ends.”



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Recently ‘Metawhale World’ has announced launch of World’s First NFT Museum in Metaverse

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Blockchain technology has significantly transformed the realm of business in a plethora of ways and for sure, has opened up numerous opportunities for savvy entrepreneurs, market enthusiasts and budding investors. It has given people a completely new platform for creative, innovative and unique methods of wealth creation. Things like NFTs, Cryptocurrency, and the Metaverse have created quite a stride in recent times and are drawing the attention of people across the globe and India is no exception. Keeping this in mind, Rahul Kaushik, a well-known Delhi-NCR based entrepreneur, has recently launched ‘Metawhale World’, a blockchain-based platform that allows its users to build and monetize their gaming experience. The launch of the platform took place on April 28, 2022 at the posh 5-star hotel, Sahara Star, situated in India’s financial capital.  

Since its launch, Metawhale World has been the talk of the town for all the positive reasons and one of the major aspects for the same is because the innovative blockchain-based platform allows the rightful ownership of the creation to all its existing gamers alongside rewarding every participant with their exclusive utility token-MTW. Moreover, for ensuring complete data protection and providing security, they have developed a decentralised control system that restricts creator ownership in the current gaming market. The virtual platform also allows its community members to have complete access and control over their work, ranging from 3D arts to gaming assets. Unlike the other existing platforms in the market that are complex and hard to navigate for the people, Metawhale World is developed in a way that is easy to use and has a wide adoption that validates the network. The platform also allows all kinds of brands to promote their services and products. These things have significantly made it one of the most promising and reliable blockchain-based platforms in India. 

With the vision to help Indians understand and get connected to the fascinating world of Blockchain, Rahul Kaushik, an astute and a visionary entrepreneur, launched Metawhale World with his Co-Founder, Rahul Pabby. Rahul has always been someone who understands the market like a maven and is someone who believes in beginning innovation to the table. Through Metawhale World, he has successfully proved his mettle but he is someone who believes in the phrase that “The day you think I have achieved it, it’s over” and keeping this in his belief, he has taken his next big move that is all set to disrupt the realm of NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens). 

Taking things to the next level, Rahul Kaushik has recently announced two big moves during a mega event held at the Hotel Glitz Westend Inn, situated in the National Capital on June 26th, 2022. He along with Rahul Pabby (Co-Founder), Gunjan Shekawat (Director), Vishal Raj (Chief Communication Officer), Manish Arora (Chief Marketing Officer) and Ullas Sirdesai (Chief Finance Strategist) has officially announced the launch of the world’s first NFT Museum. During the event, more than 350 entrepreneurs and other big names like Prahladbhai Modi, Deepak Londe, Prashant Mandekar and Rajuseth Oswal were present who appreciated the new initiative taken by Meta Whale World. The first-of-its-kind which will display digital artworks for anyone who is having a strong internet connection. The soon-to-be-launched museum will also be able to extend access without diluting the monetary value of the plethora of listed digital artworks. Apart from this, designers and curators will also be able to make the exhibitions as imaginative and as immersive as they would like while spending less time and capital. 

The second major announcement made at the event was that IgniteChain would be teaming and partnering up with Metawhale World to release a variety of digital collectibles on the blockchain network. These two brands coming together is likely to generate huge buzz in the world of NFTs. Representing IgniteChain, JM Narola (CEO), Umesh Mistry (COO), Vimal Panchal (CMO), Hardik Vaghela (CTO), Hemant Jass (Head of Advisory) and Piyush Jain (Advisory Member) were also present at the event. This partnership between both the renowned platforms is aimed at bringing a 360-degree transformation in the realm of NFTs and through this move, IgniteChain has opened doors for many developers, projects and applications to build decentralised solutions for the web3 community. IgniteChain which will be partnering with Metawhale World is a decentralised blockchain network working on PoS consensus combined with reward based validation protocol PoR (Proof-of-Reward). They make it easier to utilise blockchain networks across different sectors including enterprises, governmental and decentralised finance. 

Metawhale World, a blockchain based platform that was launched recently, under the leadership of Rahul Kaushik, allows users to build and monetize their gaming experience. The Binance Blockchain powered the platform and uses MTW’s utility token. Meta Whale World will allow actual ownership of the creation to all its existing gamers, and they even promise to reward every participant with their exclusive utility token-MTW. Further, for data protection and ensuring security, they have developed a decentralized control system that will restrict creator ownership in the current gaming market.  

Now, with these two moves, Metawhale World, is all set to take the world of NFTs and Metaverse to the next level and Rahul Kaushik is leaving no stones unturned to achieve this. 





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iClick Interactive Releases Metaverse Livestreaming Mobile App Arohar

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Brings livestreaming to the metaverse for the first time

HONG KONG, June 27, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — iClick Interactive Asia Group Limited (“iClick” or the “Company”) (NASDAQ: ICLK), a leading enterprise and marketing cloud platform in China that empowers worldwide brands with full-stack consumer lifecycle solutions, today announced the launch of Arohar, its proprietary live streaming enhancement mobile application that integrates AI, AR and interactive 3D avatars to bring a brand new metaverse-based live streaming experience to users. iClick’s flagship product, Arohar, for KOL promotion in overseas markets represents a new SaaS paradigm for live streaming.

(PRNewsfoto/iClick Interactive Asia Group Limited)

(PRNewsfoto/iClick Interactive Asia Group Limited)

According to the global consulting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (“PwC”), the metaverse-related market is estimated to reach USD467.4 billion by 2025. Featuring immersive virtual backgrounds and effects, and the ability to create real-time facial animation avatars through AR technology, Arohar’s all-in-one livestreaming solution marks iClick’s first step into the metaverse market. Arohar currently enables users to access Meta and other overseas metaverse platforms, and future upgrades will help accelerate the development of the metaverse ecosystem and promote the transformation of the live streaming industry.

Arohar brings exciting new features to livestreaming including 3D avatars with AR facial micro-expression tracking and real-time facial animation and immersive virtual backgrounds through the AI image processing technology. Arohar is able to instantly detect the physical features of the live streamer and generate a clear virtual likeness and background without a green screen. Through these innovations, Arohar delivers a cutting-edge metaverse livestreaming experience that allows users to enjoy eight key features:

  • Access to high quality virtual backgrounds;

  • Create real-time animated 3D avatars;

  • Enhance facial features with beauty and makeup filters;

  • Use multi-scene switching to ensure smooth and attractive live streaming;

  • Remote control of live streaming via App or Bluetooth;

  • Share mobile game streams with friends and fans seamlessly via screen sharing;

  • Enhance live streams through built-in massive live streaming resources;

  • Support live streaming to multiple social media platforms such as Facebook Live, YouTube, Twitch, Twitter, Instagram and more.

Frankie Ho, iClick’s President of International Business said, “We are very excited to announce the overseas launch of Arohar, a breakthrough solution that empowers metaverse livestreaming under our ‘SaaS+X’ business model. Arohar will be a key driver in our overseas market strategy as we focus on innovation to drive robust growth. iClick will continue to seek business opportunities in the metaverse while further accelerating the development of our SaaS product matrix to address brands’ challenges in the face of rapidly evolving business models and market.”

Arohar is now available on Google Play Store and Apple App Store in North America. For more information, please visit arohar.app.

About iClick Interactive Asia Group Limited

Founded in 2009, iClick Interactive Asia Group Limited (NASDAQ: ICLK) is a leading enterprise and marketing cloud platform in China. iClick’s mission is to empower worldwide brands to unlock the enormous market potential of smart retail. With its leading proprietary technologies, iClick’s full suite of data-driven solutions helps brands drive significant business growth and profitability throughout the full consumer lifecycle. Headquartered in Hong Kong, iClick currently operates in eleven locations across Asia and Europe. For more information, please visit https://ir.i-click.com.

Safe Harbor Statement

This announcement contains forward-looking statements, including those related to the Company’s business strategies, operations and financial performance. These statements constitute “forward-looking” statements within the meaning of Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, and as defined in the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements can be identified by terminology such as “will,” “expects,” “anticipates,” “future,” “intends,” “plans,” “believes,” “estimates,” “confident” and similar statements. Such statements are based upon management’s current expectations and current market and operating conditions and relate to events that involve known or unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors, all of which are difficult to predict and many of which are beyond the Company’s control. Forward-looking statements involve inherent risks and uncertainties. A number of factors could cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in any forward-looking statement, including but not limited to the following: the Company’s fluctuations in growth; its success in implementing its mobile and new retail strategies, including extending its solutions beyond its core online marketing business; its success in structuring a CRM & Marketing Cloud platform; relative percentage of its gross billing recognized as revenue under the gross and net models; its ability to retain existing clients or attract new ones; its ability to retain content distribution channels and negotiate favourable contractual terms; market competition, including from independent online marketing technology platforms as well as large and well-established internet companies; market acceptance of online marketing technology solutions and enterprise solutions; litigation and negative publicity surroundings China -based companies listed in the U.S.; effectiveness of its algorithms and data engines; its ability to collect and use data from various sources; its ability to comply with existing or future laws and regulations related to data protection or data security; ability to integrate and realize synergies from acquisitions, investments or strategic partnership; the duration of the COVID-19 outbreak, including the emergence of COVID variants, and its potential impact on the Company’s business and financial performance; fluctuations in foreign exchange rates; general economic conditions in China and other jurisdictions where the Company operates; and the regulatory landscape in China and other jurisdictions where the Company operates. Further information regarding these and other risks is included in the Company’s annual report on Form 20-F and other filings with the SEC. All information provided in this press release and in the attachments is as of the date of this press release, and the Company undertakes no obligation to update any forward-looking statement, except as required under applicable law.

For investor and media inquiries, please contact:

iClick Interactive Asia Group Limited
E-mail: press@i-click.com

The Foote Group
Philip Lisio
E-mail: phil@thefootegroup.com

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Cision

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SOURCE iClick Interactive Asia Group Limited



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Infosec leaders decode new workspace opportunities in Metaverse – Back End News

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True to its vision of ensuring cybersecurity in the Philippines, the Information Security Officers Group (ISOG) conducted the second installment of its 2022 virtual Metaverse forum series on June 23.

Anchored on the overall theme of “Traversing Beyond the Realm of Cyberspace.” the seconnd Metaverse forum focused on the discussions of the adjustment of each enterprise in the new norm and the measures being done in the integration of the metaverse in their operations. The virtual forum presented diverse and radical insights and significant business opportunities and solutions from great minds.

“This forum underscores our initiative and effort to design, create, and sustain a unified solution in the undertaking of Metaverse in the banking industry. We continue to collaborate with our partner institutions and stakeholders to address concerns and promote safe and effective use of the metaverse for business,” said Archie Tolentino, ISOG President and Landbank of the Philippines’ Chief Information Technology Security Officer.

ISOG forum zooms in on securing banking industry in Metaverse
ISOG to hold 2022 Metaverse forum, Cybersecurity Excellence Awards

Joining this virtual forum are field experts, decision-makers, and cyber leaders including banking Metaverse pioneer in the Philippines, Union Bank Senior Executive Vice President, Chief Technology and Operations Officer, and Chief Transformation Officer Henry Rhoel Aguda.

Zero Trust

Cybersecurity professionals also gained insights into the Data Reliability & Accessibility within the Security Framework delivered by Arnie Alvarez, the Chief Technology Officer and IT Director of the Enterprise Business Group of Huawei Technologies Philippines. They also gained perspectives on the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) ‘Financial Services Cyber Resilience Plan presented by Mhel Plabasan, chief person for the agency’s supervision of technology and cybersecurity risk including emerging technologies.

Forum delegates have imparted a knowledge of the concept and implications of the Metaverse and the significance of artificial intelligence in ensuring cyber security through the presentation of Tony Jarvis, Director of Enterprise Security (APJ) of Darktrace. Meanwhile, Palo Alto Network’s Field Chief Security Officer Ian Lim tackled Zero Trust as a guiding principle in securing an organization’s journey into the Metaverse. More exciting Metaverse topics were presented by Exceture’s Chief Information Security Officer and Head of Information Technology Consulting & Software Engineering Mario Demarillas, and BlueVoyant’s Chief Operating Officer Tal Blaustein.

Forum delegates were also engaged in a comprehensive panel discussion entitled “Decoding the New Workspace in the Metaverse”. It was an avenue where industry experts addressed concerns and queries about the virtual presentations. Joining the first panel were Unionbank’s Henry Aguda, Darktrace’s Tony Jarvis, BSP’s Mhel Plabasan, and Huawei Technologies Philippines’ Arnie Alvarez. The second panel discussion with the topic “The Metaverse: Revolutionizing Opportunities” was headlined by Palo Alto’s Ian Lim and Exceture’s Mario Demarillas. Both panels were moderated by SQrity Consulting CEO & President, Ricson Singson Que.

Two more forums

“To make the most of the opportunities in the Metaverse without sacrificing any aspect of the business, it is crucial for information security professionals to be equipped with the right knowledge of this new digital ecosystem. Rest assured that ISOG will support them as they continue protecting cyberspace,” said ISOG’s Vice President Chito Jacinto.

The second installment of the virtual cybersecurity forum was supported by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, Bankers Association of the Philippines, National Privacy Commission, and the Department of Information and Communications Technology. The last two virtual forums of this series are slated for July 21 and Sep. 1.

Since 2015, ISOG has been organizing programs and events to strengthen cybersecurity awareness and secure network infrastructure in the Philippines. For more details about ISOG and its campaigns, visit ISOG’s official website at http://www.isog-org.ph and socials at LinkedIn: ISOG (Information Security Officers Group), Facebook: ISOGPH, and YouTube Channel: ISOG SUMMIT.



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