ConsenSys, a company that develops apps and tools based on Ethereum, has launched a $50 million venture capital fund that will provide pre-seed and seed capital to blockchain technology startups. It will be led by Kavita Gupta, while ConsenSys founder Joe Lubin (also co-founder of Ethereum) also will be involved.

Gupta, who most recently worked on mission investing for Eric Schmidt's family foundation, tells Axios that she doesn't believe the advent of ICOs should result in the depreciation of traditional venture capital:

There is still value to due diligence and even if two PhD kids have sold tokens based on a brilliant white paper, they still have to figure out how to deliver a company. That's not necessarily something they have experience doing."

ConsenSys Ventures — which has not taken outside capital — will back startups that both do and don't plan to eventually offer digital tokens. It hasn't closed any deals yet, but does have three term sheets out.

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Ted Cruz defends GOP's expected return to prioritizing national debt

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) told "Axios on HBO" on Monday that he wishes reining in the national debt was a higher priority for President Trump.

Why it matters: Trump pledged during the 2016 campaign to reduce the national debt and eliminate it entirely within eight years, though he also deemed himself "the king of debt" and said there were some priorities that required spending. In the fiscal year that ended in September, the deficit reached a record $3.1 trillion.

Federal judge blocks DOJ from defending Trump in Carroll rape defamation case

E. Jean Carroll in Warwick, New York. Photo: Eva Deitch for The Washington Post via Getty Images

A federal judge on Tuesday dismissed the Justice Department's attempted intervention on behalf of President Trump in writer E. Jean Carroll's defamation lawsuit against him, after she accused him of raping her in a dressing room in the mid-1990s.

Catch up quick: The agency argued that Trump was "acting within the scope of his office" as president when he said in 2019 that Carroll was "lying" about her claim.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Politics: Axios-Ipsos poll: Federal response has only gotten worse — The swing states where the pandemic is raging.
  2. Health: The coronavirus is starting to crush some hospitals — 13 states set single-day case records last week.
  3. Business: Where stimulus is needed most.
  4. Education: The dangerous instability of school re-openings.
  5. States: Nearly two dozen Minnesota COVID cases traced to 3 Trump campaign events.
  6. World: Unrest in Italy as restrictions grow across Europe.
  7. Media: Fox News president and several hosts advised to quarantine.