Crypto-currencies may be one of the most intriguing subjects in the world of finance right now but they have failed to impress India’s central bank.

In a fairly definitive expression of its stance, a director of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has signalled that virtual currencies like bitcoin won’t be allowed in the country. “Our current position on bitcoins is that we will not be using it for any payments and settlements…though the technology underlying crypto-currencies will not end,” said S Ganesh Kumar, executive director of the RBI, at a conference in Mumbai on Nov. 06.

Kumar’s comments are likely to end much of the speculation over the legitimacy of virtual currencies in India. However, blockchain technology, which underlies these virtual currencies, has significant potential, added Kumar. Banks in India are already relying on blockchain to enable overseas transactions, international remittances, and other processes.

By Harry