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Illustration: Rebecca Zisser / Axios

Harbor, a new blockchain platform for creating tokenized securities based on real-world assets, raised $28 million in VC funding led by Founders Fund.

Why it's a big deal: Because this could be to blockchain finance what e-commerce was to the Internet, in terms of a physical application of the digital.

The investment also should be a morale boost to "tokenization" advocates, following a messy (and so far unsuccessful) ICO process for The Plaza Hotel in NYC.

More from CoinDesk's Annaliese Milano:

"The protocol tokenizes real-world assets and uses ethereum smart contracts to ensure that investors can execute trades only if they satisfy pertinent regulations, such as know your customer and anti-money laundering requirements."

Other investors in the round included Andreessen Horowitz, Pantera Capital, Future Perfect Ventures, 1confirmation, Signia Venture Partners and return backers Craft Ventures, Vy Capital and Valor Equity Partners.

Go deeper

1 hour ago - Health

The danger of a fourth wave

Expand chart
Data: The COVID Tracking Project, state health departments; Note: Anomalous Arkansas case data from Feb. 28 was not included in the calculated change; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

The U.S. may be on the verge of another surge in coronavirus cases, despite weeks of good news.

The big picture: Nationwide, progress against the virus has stalled. And some states are ditching their most important public safety measures even as their outbreaks are getting worse.

Sidewalk robots get legal rights as "pedestrians"

"We’ve got about 1,000 of them running around out there," Ryan Tuohy of Starship tells Axios. Photo courtesy of Starship Technologies.

As small robots proliferate on sidewalks and city streets, so does legislation that grants them generous access rights and even classifies them, in the case of Pennsylvania, as "pedestrians."

Why it matters: Fears of a dystopian urban world where people dodge heavy, fast-moving droids are colliding with the aims of robot developers large and small — including Amazon and FedEx — to deploy delivery fleets.

Felix Salmon, author of Capital
2 hours ago - Economy & Business

The biggest obstacle to a wealth tax

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Taxing the rich is an idea that's back. An "ultra-millionaire tax" introduced by Elizabeth Warren and other left-wing Democrats this week would raise more than $3 trillion over 10 years, they say, while making the tax system as a whole more fair.

Why it matters: New taxes would be a necessary part of any Democratic plan to redistribute wealth and reduce inequality. But President Biden has more urgent priorities — and Warren's wealth tax in particular faces constitutional obstacles that make it a hard sell.

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