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Litecoin prices today fell more than 12% as Asian news outlet Caixin reported today China is planning to shut down local Bitcoin exchanges. Considered the "silver" to Bitcoin's "gold," Litecoin was one of the hardest hit cryptocurrencies today.
This announcement also comes just days after the People's Bank of China suspended activity of ICOs. The central banks labeled ICOs a form of "illegal financial activities." Leadership in the country believes that virtual currencies generate conditions for illegal fundraising and can cause greater financial risk for citizens.
However, it's important to note that this is not the first time that Chinese officials have banned exchanges before changing their minds.
Below is a recap of the top cryptocurrency prices at 1:00 p.m. EDT.
Bitcoin: $4,312.65, -6.69%
Ethereum: $301.69, -8.47%
Bitcoin Cash: $601.14, -7.53%
Ripple: $0.213, -5.20%
Litecoin: $69.30, -12.74%
Now that we know all of today's price movements, here's what has been moving these cryptocurrencies…
Cryptocurrency Market News
It was an ugly day for the market.
Just seven of the top 100 cryptocurrencies by market capitalization showed gains in the previous 24 hours. Top performers from that select group included Qtum (+6.59%), GameCredits (up 5.46%), Walton (up 12.73%), and CloakCoin (up 15.37%).
The largest decliners over the last 24 hours included Hshare (down 31.5%), IOTA (down 22.2%), BitShares (down 21.7%), Golem (down 18.7%), and EOS (down 17.03%).
The decision to outright ban exchanges in China is the latest assault on the cryptocurrency market by the nation's government. Exchanges operating in the country have already operated with "know your customer" rules and require strict anti-money-laundering rules.
In addition, China had already formally banned margin trading, which addresses broader concerns about financial risk.
Top 5 Cryptocurrencies to Invest in Today
Bitcoin Can't Shake Off China's New Regulatory Push
Bitcoin prices slumped in the wake of the Chinese decision. Prices fell as much as 8% immediately after the announcement.
Though few people really believe there will be a full ban on trading in the country, the news is a repeat of actions taken by China in the past to curb speculation and ensure government oversight.
Ethereum Prices Tank After China Regulation News
The Ethereum price has been on a roller coaster over the last week. Prices plunged from nearly $400 to $285 due to concerns about Chinese regulators.
Today, prices found some support around the $300 level despite the near double-digit decline.
NEO Prices Fall 15% Today
The price of NEO plunged more than 15% (and as much as 25%) after the announcement about the potential Chinese regulations.
Market capitalization slipped to $1.2 billion.
The price has plunged more than 50% since it hit an all-time high in August. However, a rash of bad news and pressure from the markets has made it difficult times for the cryptocurrency.
Today's Cryptocurrency Advocate
On Friday, we heard one of Bitcoin's biggest naysayers change his tune. Howard Marks of Oaktree Capital Group said in a client memo this week that he can't see any reason why Bitcoin cannot be used as a medium of exchange or legal tender.
The statement came months after Marks had called Bitcoin a "fad" and compared it to historical market bubble events like the Dutch Tulip mania of 1637.
Even though Marks doesn't plan on investing right now, he noted that it took time for him to understand Bitcoin and the underlying technology.
"Think about the fact that the price of Bitcoin has risen more than 350% so far this year and 3,900% in the last three years," Marks wrote. "You might want to consider whether a real currency can do that, or whether speculative buying is determining Bitcoin's price."