First Mover Asia: Ether Price Hits Fresh 11-Month High

ALSO: In his latest Money Reimagined column, CoinDesk Chief Content Officer Michael Casey writes that to prevent the potentially destructive impact of AI, we need open-source innovation and collective governance that is possible through blockchain protocols and Web3, not the monopoly defaulting structure of Web2.

AccessTimeIconApr 17, 2023 at 12:07 a.m. UTC
Updated Apr 17, 2023 at 5:32 p.m. UTC

Good morning. Here’s what’s happening:

Prices: Ether continued its ascent following last week's Shanghai upgrade on the Ethereum blockchain, reaching an 11-month high.

Insights: Sufficiently decentralized ownership and control would prevent any single party from dictating AI development, CoinDesk Chief Content Officer Michael Casey writes.


+5.9 0.4%
+0.0 0.0%
+27.8 1.3%
S&P 500
−8.6 0.2%
+13.0 0.6%
Nikkei 225
+336.5 1.2%
BTC/ETH prices per CoinDesk Indices, as of 7 a.m. ET (11 a.m. UTC)
CoinDesk Market Index (CMI)
1,324 +5.9 0.4%
Bitcoin (BTC)
$30,325 +0.0 0.0%
Ethereum (ETH)
$2,120 +27.8 1.3%
S&P 500
4,137.64 −8.6 0.2%
$2,015 +13.0 0.6%
Nikkei 225
28,493.47 +336.5 1.2%
BTC/ETH prices per CoinDesk Indices, as of 7 a.m. ET (11 a.m. UTC)

For months traders speculated whether the ether (ETH) price would crash following the Ethereum blockchain's milestone Shanghai upgrade, or if it would rally.

Now we know: Ether's price took off after last week's first-ever enabling of crypto withdrawals from the blockchain's staking mechanism, blowing past $2,000 on fresh enthusiasm that the success of the upgrade could lead to a surge in growth and investor interest.

And it's kept rising, gaining on four of the past five days, and hitting a fresh 11-month high on Sunday around $2,141.

The ETH price is now up 77% year to date, still trailing the bitcoin (BTC) price gain of 83% in 2023 but catching up fast.

"The market's pessimism regarding Ethereum staking withdrawals proved excessive," as Sean Farrell, head of digital asset strategy at FundStrat, put it last week.


Web2’s Lesson for AI: Decentralize to Protect Humanity

This is going to sound presumptuous coming from a guy who doesn’t write code, let alone have any direct experience in machine learning or artificial intelligence (AI) research.

But I gotta say it: The recent alarmist demand for a six-month pause or even a militarily enforced shutdown in AI research – from people with experience, money and influence in the artificial intelligence industry – is founded on some fundamentally flawed thinking that will encourage the same destructive outcome for humanity that we seek to avoid. That the U.S. government is simultaneously orchestrating a crackdown on the crypto industry, a field of open-source innovation that develops the kind of cryptography and network coordination technologies needed to manage AI threats, makes this an especially dangerous moment for all of us.

These doomsayers are computer scientists, not students of economic history. The issue is not, in and of itself, that an out-of-control AI could evolve to kill us all. (We all know that for decades Hollywood has taught us that it is so.) No, the task is to ensure that the economics of AI don’t intrinsically encourage that horrific result. We must prevent concentrated control of the inputs and outputs of AI machines from hindering our capacity to act together in the common interest. We need collective, collaborative software development that creates a computational antidote to these dystopian nightmares.

You’re reading Money Reimagined, a weekly look at the technological, economic and social events and trends that are redefining our relationship with money and transforming the global financial system. Subscribe to get the full newsletter here.

The answer does not lie in shutting down AI innovation and locking ChatGPT creator OpenAI, the industry leader that has taken the field to its current level of development, into pole position. On the contrary, that’s the best way to ensure the nightmare comes true.

Read the full story here:

Important events

2:00 a.m. HKT/SGT(18:00 UTC) German Buba President Nagel Speech

CoinDesk TV

In case you missed it, here is the most recent episode of "First Mover" on CoinDesk TV:

Ether was over $2,100 as many investors opt for the prospect of additional liquidity while earning staking rewards over the desire to take immediate profits and run. Dexterity Capital managing partner Michael Safai shared his crypto markets analysis. Plus, Blockchain Association director of government relations Ron Hammond weighed in on the state of crypto regulation ahead of Securities and Exchange Commission Chair Gary Gensler's testimony before lawmakers next week. And TurboTax tax expert Lisa Greene-Lewis shared tips on what crypto investors need to know ahead of Tax Day.


Market Maker DWF Labs’ More Than $200M in Deals Blur What ‘Investing’ Means: DWF Labs made headlines with flurry of investments in crypto projects such as CryptoGPT or Synthetix. A closer examination reveals that many of their deals aren’t typical venture capital investments. However, the firm says it’s all a misunderstanding.

How CoinDesk Will Use Generative AI Tools: Artificial intelligence (AI) tools are changing the way we work – especially the media. Here are the rules of the road for CoinDesk.

Ethereum Layer 2 Network zkSync Era Jumps to Nearly $250M in Locked Value: More than 7 million transactions have been conducted on the network since launch, which can process 3.5 transactions per second, data shows.

Avalanche Surges to 6-Month High in Daily Active Addresses: The spike coincided with a bevy of financial institutions joining Avalanche’s Evergreen subnet “Spruce.”

AI Boosters Would Sacrifice Humanity for a Simulacra - as Long as They're in Control: AI boosterism and associated “long-termist” ideas may be a threat to your privacy, property and civil rights.

Edited by Bradley Keoun.


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CoinDesk is an award-winning media outlet that covers the cryptocurrency industry. Its journalists abide by a strict set of editorial policies. In November 2023, CoinDesk was acquired by the Bullish group, owner of Bullish, a regulated, digital assets exchange. The Bullish group is majority-owned by; both companies have interests in a variety of blockchain and digital asset businesses and significant holdings of digital assets, including bitcoin. CoinDesk operates as an independent subsidiary with an editorial committee to protect journalistic independence. CoinDesk employees, including journalists, may receive options in the Bullish group as part of their compensation.

James Rubin

James Rubin was CoinDesk's U.S. news editor based on the West Coast.

Bradley Keoun

Bradley Keoun is the managing editor of CoinDesk's Tech & Protocols team. He owns less than $1,000 each of several cryptocurrencies.