The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has directed all regulated entities including banks not to provide services to businesses dealing in virtual currencies (cryptocurrencies) like bitcoins. While the RBI has stopped short of banning cryptocurrencies entirely, this move will severely restrict consumers' ability to either purchase or sell cryptocurrencies like Bitcoins. According to the Central bank, the decision comes into effect immediately. Regulated entities which already are dealing with virtual currency shall exit the relationship within a specified time. RBI said that it will issue detailed guidelines in a separate circular soon. In a statement on various regulatory policies, the RBI conceded that "technological innovations, including those underlying virtual currencies, have the potential to improve the efficiency and inclusiveness of the financial system." It goes on to say that cryptocurrencies "raise concerns of consumer protection, market integrity and money laundering,…
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