Talk to Earn, TAGO to Introduce Blockchain Technology in Mental Health Sector

A UK-registered tech startup is aiming to connect people in need of support for mental health through blockchain technology. - 2022-04-19T173049.294.jpg

TAGO’s move to integrate blockchain technology in the mental health sector is the first of its kind and is called Tagoverse.

TAGO said that users can receive consultation from mental health advisors and also earn “Tago Tokens” through the “Talk to Earn” activities via its mobile app.

Tago Tokens are utility tokens that help the company fund the Tago Blockchain project.

The tokens will be used by community members to meet mental health advisors, join the Emotion Intelligence Quotient (EQ) courses, exchange spiritual items, and participate in spiritual events and other Tagoverse activities such as meditation, yoga, temple, church, tarot and horoscope.

In addition, Tago token holders can also join the staking programme to earn more rewards, voting rights and premium access.

Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) will also be available in TAGO.

With its “Talk to Earn” feature, users and advisors can earn rewards by chatting and consulting with TagoSoul – a virtual assistant.

TAGO claims to have introduced the world’s first NFT mental health AI assistant.

“Mental health problems are on the rise. This is particularly serious as the COVID–19 pandemic has led to an increasing need for new & safe approaches to help prevent the spread of mental illnesses,” TAGO said.

In 2021, the global mental health market size was US$ 391.3 billion, and it is forecasted to grow to US$ 551.1 billion in 2023.

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Nestle Rolls Out First NFTs in the Middle East & North Africa for a Humanitarian Cause

Nestle, a Swiss multinational food and drink processing conglomerate, has launched an exclusive limited series of two non-fungible tokens (NFTs) called TRIX Globe for a charitable cause in the Middle East & North Africa (MENA).

To commemorate the rollout of the TRIX Breakfast Cereal brand in MENA, Nestle released the NFTs on, with bidding running from March 18 to May 13. The proceeds will go to charity. 

Emilien Mesquida, the Business Executive Officer Cereal Partners Worldwide, Middle East & North Africa, said:

“In line with our promise for ‘Better Lives’, we are proud to launch the first blockchain-based initiative in the region aimed towards a humanitarian cause with full proceeds of the TRIX NFTs auction going to the Emirates Red Crescent.”

With TRIX being a heritage breakfast cereal brand intended to ‘put the fun back into breakfast,’ Nestle wants to become more innovative by incorporating NFTs.

Bahaa Boulmona, the Brand Manager Cereal Partners Worldwide, Middle East & North Africa, noted:

“We are excited to announce that TRIX® is the first and only breakfast cereal brand in the world to have launched its own NFT series – showcasing how daring and adaptable our brands are.” 

Despite NFTs being relatively new in the crypto space, it continues to take the world by storm based on the substantial trading volume and adoption witnessed.

For instance, market insight provider IntoTheBlock recently pointed out that the total volume traded by NFTs recently surpassed 18 million ETH, with the aggregate value topping $54 billion. 

Furthermore, the NFT trading volume grew exponentially from the start of the year, rising by more than 220%.

Therefore, more brands are jumping on the NFT bandwagon, for instance, South Korean auto giant Hyundai Motor became the first automaker to offer community-based non-fungible tokens. 

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Animoca Brands Soon to Acquire Australia’s Be Media for Blockchain Development

Hong Kong-based Animoca Brands has announced that it will soon acquire Australian digital marketing agency Be Media to explore the opportunities centred around blockchain development in the country. - 2022-04-19T162336.064.jpg

Animoca Brands said that it is advancing its digital property rights for gaming and the metaverse.

The company also announced that Be Media will be in charge of forming partnerships with major Australian Brands as Animoca Brands aims to advance the emergence of the open metaverse and deliver digital property rights to online users via blockchain and NFTs.

Be Media has already begun hiring employees for blockchain development and project management to further fine-tune the plan.

“The acquisition of Be Media will allow Animoca Brands to extend its core capabilities to support the Australian market and beyond. There are tremendous opportunities in Australia and Be Media will enhance our ability to work with companies that wish to participate in the exciting opportunities presented by the emerging open metaverse,” Yat Siu, the co-founder and executive chairman of Animoca Brands, said.

While Mr Fogarty, the founder and CEO of Be Media, said, “I couldn’t be more excited to join Yat and Animoca Brands, the dominant frontrunner in Web3 with a bold vision to help to build a truly open and decentralised metaverse. I’m honoured to have the opportunity to support cherished Australian brands who want to explore opportunities in this space and introduce their customers to the metaverse, NFTs, and the power of digital property rights.”

Established in 2013, Be Media has been active in the Web 2.0 space focusing on digital strategy, search, and social advertising. 

While Animoca Brands is a leader in digital entertainment, blockchain, and gamification that is working to advance digital property rights.

The company also recently acquired French Lyon-based video game developer Eden Games, which focuses on developing racing video games.

Blockchain.News reported that Animoca Brands will leverage the capabilities and expertise of Eden Games to work on existing and new titles in the REVV Motorsport ecosystem and to bring to market a variety of new blockchain-based racing games. 

The new games will offer additional use of the NFT Race Passes and the other assets obtained by swapping assets from Animoca Brands’ F1® Delta Time, which stopped operations in March 2022, the report added.

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Tsinghua University Opens First Metaverse Lab in China

Tsinghua University has launched China’s first metaverse laboratory, dedicated to studying the growth and expansion of the new digital industry in the country, according to a report by The Crypto Times. - 2022-04-19T151211.519.jpg

The metaverse laboratory, “Metaverse Culture Laboratory”, was founded in a partnership between Tsinghua’s School of Journalism and Communications and Chinese Online (COL) – China’s largest provider of genuine digital content.

As part of its future initiatives, the laboratory will be conducting research and analysing trends in the metaverse to help understand the various areas in the metaverse that media companies can explore.

The laboratory hopes to “play a role in scientific research, technology, talents and industry advantages, explore deep-seated issues, and form leading ideas,” Tsinghua University said in an announcement.

According to The Crypto Times, Tsinghua University strives for being a leader in the metaverse research field.

New Digital Landscape Currently in China

China has recently become an active participant in exploring the metaverse and non-fungible token (NFT) industries. The country’s electric automobile maker Xpeng launched car-model-themed NFTs on Jingtan – an NFT marketplace launched by e-commerce company Alibaba.

According to a Blockchain.News report citing CNBC, Chinese mega tech unicorns are investing in the metaverse with a cautious approach, despite Beijing’s crackdown on tech companies.

Chinese funds are currently being used to explore this developing trend in tech, the way of discovering how to integrate the metaverse truly remains a major hurdle that most Chinese firms are exploring to cross, the report added.

“Metaverse is the future of (the) social network. All China’s tech giants have to embrace it to find new ways to engage the youngest generation of internet users, which is critical at the time when their business models on smartphones and mobile internet are matured,” Winston Ma, managing partner at CloudTree Ventures, told CNBC. 

However, another report by Blockchain.News stated that the government’s crackdown on tech companies has affected native tech firms.

The report stated that companies have started changing their receptiveness towards NFT platforms or startups making use of their services.

WeChat has started suspending the accounts of NFT outfits because they violated its policies on illegal trading. Two of the most prominent outfits that have suffered this fate include the much-hyped NFT platform Xihu No 1 and Dongyiyuandian, both of whom said their accounts and apps have been pulled down, Blockchain.News reported citing local news channels. 

According to The Crypto Times, China has also managed to ban cryptocurrencies and has plans to develop an NFT sector not linked to crypto.

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Gulf Energy Invests in Binance.US as Both Aim to Float a Crypto Exchange

In a letter addressed to the president of the Stock Exchange of Thailand, the country’s power generation firm Gulf Energy Development Public Company Limited unveiled its investment in Binance.US through its Hong Kong-based subsidiary, Gulf International Investment Limited.

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The investment was made following the issuance of Series Seed Preferred Stock by BAM Trading Services Inc, the startup operating the Binance.US platform. The strategic investment size was not disclosed, but the partners were very clear on the way in which the funds will be utilized to achieve both the firm’s long-term visions.

“Binance.US will use the proceeds from the seed funding to expand headcount, launch ROI based marketing efforts, expand its product portfolio and make potential future acquisitions before its planned initial public offering (IPO) in 2-3 years. As such, the investment in Binance.US not only provides an opportunity for the Company to participate in one of the fastest user scale-up exchanges in the world but also realizes potential higher investment value post-Binance.US’ IPO,” the announcement reads.

In a separate notice, Gulf Energy also unveiled the acquisition of BNB Tokens as a means to gain access to the Binance ecosystem. 

As the highlight of the dual announcement shared on Monday, both firms unveiled the plans to float a Joint Venture with the goal of launching a crypto exchange. The plan is slated to be actualized by the second quarter of the year, and both are notably ready to pursue relevant licenses in a bid to operate under the confines of the law.

“The company believes that this multi-level cooperation with Binance, which is the global leader in blockchain infrastructure technology, is aligned with the Company’s target to be the leader in digital infrastructure while providing further opportunities for the Company to expand into other digital asset-related initiatives in the future,” the Gulf Energy filing detailed.

The Gulf Energy backing comes following the $200 million funding round that positioned the firm at a price valuation of $4.5 billion.

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Exmo Trading Platform Stops Services in Russia, Belarus & Kazakhstan

Cryptocurrency trading platform Exmo has announced it will stop serving traders and customers from Russia, Belarus, and Kazakhstan.

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The move comes following the Russian invasion of Ukraine which has largely made the global business outlook of the country remarkably low and unhealthy for the long-term visions of the Exmo platform.

“After careful consideration and evaluation of the company structure, we arrived at a conclusion that serving Russian and Belarusian clients will prevent us from maximising our strengths and performing better. In this current climate, which is highly uncertain, we must prioritise our adaptability by following a more rigid strategy,” the Exmo announcement reads.

As detailed by Exmo, the business unit in these three countries has now been acquired by the owner of a Russian Software Development Company. Per the terms of its business closure in these countries, Exmo said its Russian UBO, Eduard Bark will also be leaving the company and transferring his stake to the new owners.

Difficult But Necessary Decisions

Exmo has built a very strong community in the Russian region for close to a decade and while it considers the exit from the country as the next logical step in its potential future growth, it acknowledges the decision was a very hard one to make.

“It’s been a tough decision for us, since we have spent over eight years building a strong community of crypto enthusiasts throughout the world, adhering to the highest compliance practices and delivering outstanding services to all our clients whenever they lived. However, following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, as a global group wishes to avoid risking our global expansion plans by operating in such high-risk markets,” the trading platform said.

Besides Exmo, a number of fintech firms particularly financial giants like Mastercard and Visa have also made their exits from Russia as government sanctions have also continued to be heightened across the board. 

The European Union Council recently extended the ban on Russian individuals’ crypto wallets, and more sanctions are likely underway following allegations of war crimes against civilians in the country.

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The Sandbox, FlickPlay Collaborate to Accelerate Interoperability in Metaverse

With the metaverse expected to be worth between $8 trillion and $13 trillion by 2030, virtual world gaming platforms The Sandbox and FlickPlay have joined hands to enhance its adoption by offering players a blockchain asset.

With the interoperability concept being at the heart of the metaverse, the blockchain asset will enable users to move freely between virtual worlds on distinctive platforms, enabling them to carry belongings like virtual clothes. 


Pierina Merino, the CEO and founder of FlickPlay, noted that the partnership would be a stepping stone towards attaining the interoperability feature in the metaverse.


She noted:

“Initially, Flicky owners will unlock a version of the chameleon to use on The Sandbox, but soon they will be able to use the exact version of the digital asset stored on the blockchain in both games.”

Sebastien Borget, The Sandbox’s co-founder, welcomed the collaboration because it would offer a more immersive experience and said:

“The integration is notable because it may be the first to bridge an NFT in the virtual world with usage linked to the physical world.”

The metaverse continues to gain steam in the modern era because it entails shared virtual worlds where avatars, buildings, land, and even names can be bought and sold, often using cryptocurrencies.


Therefore, these virtual worlds are made more lifelike using technologies like augmented reality, blockchain technology, and virtual reality.


Meanwhile, HSBC Holdings, a British multinational investment bank, recently established a metaverse fund to render investment opportunities to its high and ultra-high net worth investors in Singapore and Hong Kong. 


HSBC would pinpoint investment opportunities across five areas in the metaverse ecosystem; infrastructure, interface, computing, experience and discovery, and virtualization through a Metaverse Discretionary Strategy portfolio.

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Hyundai Emerges as First Automaker to Roll Out Community-Based NFTs

South Korean auto giant Hyundai Motor has entered the non-fungible token (NFT) market after partnering with the ‘Meta Kongz’ NFT brand to enhance its customer community and brand awareness.

Therefore, Hyundai Motor becomes the first automaker to penetrate the NFT space with its own community, including channels on Twitter and Discord and the Hyundai NFT official website. Per the announcement:

“The Hyundai NFT community will provide its users with the Hyundai brand experience in the metaverse by sharing NFTs depicting its mobility solutions.”

The channels will help the Hyundai NFT community to manage the non-fungible tokens’ value.


Hyundai also released a short film showcasing its NFT universe concept dubbed “Metamobility Universe” that was first rolled out at the Consumer Electronics Show earlier this year. 


Meta Kongz is a famous NFT gorilla character, and the film reflected the ‘Metamobility’ concept, which is expected to offer a smart device-metaverse connection.


Hyundai also intends to offer 30 limited editions of the NFTs on April 20 to commemorate the film release. 


Profits are expected to be channelled towards community members and the project’s management.


Thomas Schemera, Hyundai Motor’s global chief marketing officer, acknowledged:

“The Hyundai NFT Universe will extend the Hyundai brand experience, especially with the MZ generation, in a completely new way, further reinforcing our commitment to innovation in both the real world and the metaverse.”

He added:

“We are extremely excited to introduce ‘Metamobility’ through our own NFTs and start this journey with Meta Kongz.”

Various auto giants, such as Lamborghini, McLaren, and Mercedes-Benz, have entered the NFT space though the concept adopted entails representing exotic and luxury cars as digital assets.


Last month, McLaren partnered with InfiniteWorld to showcase its luxury hypercars and supercars in the metaverse in the form of NFTs. 


Users were to have the chance to own McLaren-branded products irrespective of whether they could afford an automobile from the company or not.

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NFT Trading Volume Surpasses $54B, Exceeds 200% in 2022

The non-fungible token (NFT) market continues to take the world by storm based on the notable adoption and trading volume witnessed.

Data analytic firm IntoTheBlock explained:

“The total volume traded by NFTs has recently surpassed 18m ETH with an aggregate value of more than $54b.”




From the above chart, the total volume traded by NFTs stood at $16.94 billion on January 1, 2022, rising by 220% to hit the current $54.33 billion. Therefore, the NFT trading volume has grown exponentially from the beginning of the year.


Furthermore, NFT collections in the Ethereum (ETH) network have risen in 2022. IntoTheBlock noted:

“The number of NFT collections in ETH has increased by 104.5% in 2022. There are now a total of 80,300 collections.”




Nevertheless, the adoption of NFTs is still in the early stages. IntoTheBlock pointed out:

“The NFT adoption curve is just starting. Roughly only 4.5% of the ETH addresses with a balance are NFTs holders.”




NFT market expected to grow by $147.24 billion by 2026

According to a study by market research provider ReportLinker, the NFT market is anticipated to grow by 147.24 billion during the 2022-2026 forecast period, representing a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 35%.  


Per the report:

“The growing number of big brands entering the market, the emergence of fractionalized NFTs, and the growing application of AI in the market will lead to sizable demand in the market.”

Furthermore, the NFT market is expected to continue being driven by growing investment in digital assets, soaring demand for digital artworks, and security and ownership of digital assets. 


Meanwhile, the Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) recently entered the big screen based on a series of animated short films called “The Degen Trilogy.”

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Beanstalk Stablecoin Protocol Suffers $80M Loss in Hacking

An emerging Ethereum stablecoin protocol, Beanstalk has come off as the latest blockchain startup that suffered a breach from hackers with a massive loss of $80 million moved from the protocol.

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Peckshield, a blockchain security and data analytics firm, first flagged the exploit on Twitter before the startup later confirmed it.

In the acknowledgement of the attack, the Beanstalk Farms team said it is investigating the incident and will announce to the community as soon as possible. While Peckshield pegged the loss at around $80 million, it gave an allowance that could effectively make the losses more than projected. A total of 24,830 ETH and 36 million BEAN tokens are feared to have been lost in total.

Hacks and exploits are now commonplace, especially amongst Decentralized Finance (DeFi) protocols. The rate of cybercrime involving these protocols has exceeded $1 billion this year, and more exploits are feared to be underway. The Beanstalk team said they are in contact with as many partners as possible, and an appeal has been shared in a separate tweet to Centralized Exchanges to help limit the way the attacker can utilize the funds stolen.

“We’re engaging all efforts to try to move forward. As a decentralised project, we are asking the DeFi community and experts in chain analytics to help us limit the exploiter’s ability to withdraw funds via CEXes. If the exploiter is open to a discussion, we are as well”

The concept of open discussion with a hacker has only yielded fruits with Poly Network, an interoperability protocol that was exploited for over $600 million last year. Through the openness of the hacker and the team, the entire funds stolen were returned, marking a historic moment in the history of cybercrime. 

While the Beanstalk hack is obvious that more security loopholes have to be covered, outfits like CertiK have been receiving funding from investors to provide a good shield for protocols in the DeFi world.

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