Bitcoin and altcoins have dropped up to 25% in hours after rumors the Chinese government is banning cryptocurrency exchanges once again.
Comments surfacing on social media link to local media outlet Caixin, which suggests regulators are seeking a shutdown of exchanges as part of the ICO ban imposed earlier this week.
Markets have reacted sharply, Bitcoin losing over 8% to head towards $4200 from $4670, while Litecoin fell 15% and others followed.
NEO, the Chinese ICO project especially affected by regulatory upheaval, lost 25%.
While little evidence has appeared to support a full ban on trading, even under this eventuality, Chinese authorities are repeating behavior already seen once in 2017.
January’s several-month exchange ban lasted until May, when new guidelines came into effect allowing trading to resume.
As such, the knee-jerk reaction seen Friday is already being labeled ‘FUD’ by some commentators.
Do you hear that? That’s the sound of a thousand Chinese government officials’ low-ball buy orders getting filled $btc#Bitcoin politics
— JB. 비트코인 Whale Club (@APACllc) September 8, 2017
That’s it, I’m banning China and the PBOC from #Bitcoin and $Crypto in general.
— WhalePanda (@WhalePanda) September 8, 2017
Prices had recovered through this week after the impact of China’s ICO ban waned in record time.
From lows of $4008 Monday, Bitcoin regained all its lost ground, only to lose half of it once again as of press time.