Over $9 billion wiped off of XRP value after surprise spike in the cryptocurrency’s price

The price of cryptocurrency XRP tanked on Tuesday following a surprise spike last week.

Sagar Sarbhai, head of regulatory relations for Asia-Pacific and the Middle East at Ripple, said last week that the firm was making significant headway with its xRapid product, which is aimed at helping banks speed up transactions by using the cryptocurrency XRP.

“I am very confident that in the next one month or so you will see some good news coming in where we launch the product live in production,” Sarbhai said of xRapid in an interview with CNBC last week.

Since the spike on Friday, XRP’s market capitalization or value has fallen over $9 billion. The price of the digital coin has dropped more than 30 percent. There doesn’t appear to be a major catalyst for the downside move apart from investors taking profits.

XRP was one of the virtual currencies that was caught up in the huge price rises at the end of 2017 and beginning of this year. But it has also fallen dramatically, down nearly 90 percent since its record high in January.

So far Ripple has struck deals with high-profile financial institutions like Santander and American Express. But those partnerships have so far been mostly focused on another product called xCurrent, which does not use XRP. It’s other product known as xRapid uses XRP as a kind of “bridge” between currencies, allowing payment providers and banks to process faster cross-border transactions. Firms that have trialed the product include money transfer giants Western Union and MoneyGram.

Cryptocurrencies across the board have had a rough year, falling from their record highs and facing more regulatory scrutiny. Just recently, U.K. lawmakers said they want to clamp down on the “Wild West” cryptocurrency market and make it more legitimate.

– CNBC’s Ryan Browne contributed to this report.

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