Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, and Ripple prices all dropped today by double digits. However, Litecoin prices were hit the hardest, falling over 20%.
The total market capitalization of the global cryptocurrency sector plunged by more than 20%, as leading voices in the financial markets questioned the valuation of tokens and cryptocurrency. This morning, Allianz's Chief Economic Advisor Mohamed El-Erian said that Bitcoin's price should be 33% to 50% of the $4,000 level it saw this week.
El-Erian argued that mass adoption of Bitcoin is "not going to happen." He also argued that governments around the globe would not allow the adoption of Bitcoin at its current levels.
The statement comes at a difficult time for cryptocurrency investors. This week, China's central bank said it was banning initial coin offerings (ICOs), halting over-the-counter trading, and shutting down local exchanges. In addition, JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) CEO Jamie Dimon called Bitcoin a "fraud" and said that he would fire anyone in his organization who was trading it "in a second."
Below is a recap of the top cryptocurrency prices at 12:30 p.m. EDT.
Bitcoin: $3,492.59, -10.32%
Ethereum: $236.70, -11.73%
Bitcoin Cash: $411.69, -14.61%
Ripple: $0.177, -10.81%
Litecoin: $47.64, -20.56%
Now that we know all of today's price movements, here's what has been moving these cryptocurrencies…
Cryptocurrency Markets Today
On Thursday, the total market capitalization of the entire cryptocurrency sector fell to $117.7 billion. The downturn coincided with news that BTCChina – the second-largest Chinese Bitcoin platform and the world's third-largest platform – is shutting down on Sept. 30.
The company said in a statement Wednesday that it made its decision to "stop all trading" after "carefully considering" the decision by Chinese leaders. After the announcement, the National Internet Finance Association of China argued there was "no legal basis for platforms which engage in the trading of various forms of 'virtual currencies.'"
Top performers from the largest 50 cryptocurrencies by market capitalization included Ark (up 24.22%), BitcoinDark (up 19.62%), Komodo (7.65%), PIVX (3.75%), and Tether (up 0.32%).
The largest decliners over the last 24 hours included Hshare (down 30.3%), Triggers (down 30.16%), Siacoin (down 26.07%), Dogecoin (down 25.12%), and Syscoin (down 19.84%).
Ethereum Prices Nearing $200
The Ethereum price fell below $250 on Thursday, sparking fears that the sell-off could accelerate in the weeks ahead.
The broader crackdown by Chinese government officials has Ethereum, and many other cryptocurrencies, plunging into bearish territory.
The regulatory ban on ICOs has hurt Ethereum, the blockchain platform on which many of these ICOs operate.
Bitcoin Cash Prices Slump Despite Addition to Bitstamp
Bitcoin Cash was off more than 14% despite news that Bitstamp has confirmed that it has listed the cryptocurrency for trading.
Top 5 Cryptocurrencies to Invest in Today
Bitstamp is one of the first Bitcoin exchanges and the only trading platform regulated in Europe. However, it wasn't enough good news to offset today's broader sell-off.
Litecoin Prices Remain Under Pressure
Litecoin prices collapsed more than 20% in the wake of the broader market downturn. For the last few weeks, we've heard several leading analysts argue that a downturn for Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash would benefit Litecoin.
However, it's clear that Litecoin fans were not counting on China to make this big announcement and pummel the broader sector. Litecoin prices are now down nearly 50% since they hit an all-time high on Sept. 2, 2017.