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Oscar-Winning Software

The folks at the Foundry didn't need a pretty face to win an Academy Award

3 min read

Harry Potter is a poseur. His magic powers come ­courtesy of the Foundry, a London-based software house whose products enhance visual effects in films. When a superhero flies past a backdrop, this firm’s software probably trimmed away the wires holding him up.

The development work is done in a nondescript third-floor office in the center of the city. There, 37 ­staffers huddle cheek by jowl ­facing banks of ­computer ­monitors, an ­adjacent ­storage room with its two faded red couches offering the group their only respite from the flickering screens. The ­company has been just too busy to spruce things up. In the past year it opened a Los Angeles sales office, ­doubled its staff, and ramped up product development.

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The Spectacular Collapse of CryptoKitties, the First Big Blockchain Game

A cautionary tale of NFTs, Ethereum, and cryptocurrency security

8 min read
Mountains and cresting waves made of cartoon cats and large green coins.
Frank Stockton

On 4 September 2018, someone known only as Rabono bought an angry cartoon cat named Dragon for 600 ether—an amount of Ethereum cryptocurrency worth about US $170,000 at the time, or $745,000 at the cryptocurrency’s value in July 2022.

It was by far the highest transaction yet for a nonfungible token (NFT), the then-new concept of a unique digital asset. And it was a headline-grabbing opportunity for CryptoKitties, the world’s first blockchain gaming hit. But the sky-high transaction obscured a more difficult truth: CryptoKitties was dying, and it had been for some time.

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