In brief:
According to reports, Venezuela has offered India a 30% discount on crude oil purchase, only if India transacts using the Venezuelan petro.

On 29th April, an Indian news outlet Business Standard reported that Venezuela has offered India a 30 percent discount on crude oil purchase from Venezuela, only if India purchases it using the Venezuelan blockchain technology-based currency “petro”. The offer was put forward last month when a team of experts from Venezuela’s blockchain department visited India.

Petro is the world’s first state-backed cryptocurrency tied to Venezuela’s oil reserves and will be launched after the presidential elections in Venezuela on May 20th this year. In order to sell Petro in India, the team from the South American country worked out a deal with the Delhi-based cryptocurrency exchange, Coinsecure.

According to Mohit Kalra, the chief executive officer of Coinsecure, by adding Petro to the platform, Venezuela seeks to trade the cryptocurrency against bitcoin and the rupee. Further, he claims that Venezuela has offered the Indian government a 30% discount on oil if it pays in Petro.

“They are going to different countries and making offers. The offer that they have given to the Indian government is: you buy Petro and we will give you a 30 percent discount on oil purchases,” says Kalra.

Moreover, Coinsecure will also supply White Label cryptocurrency exchange solutions for Venezuela. Besides this, Kalra informed that Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro intends to host a conference in India to publicize the petro.

Kalra stated, “That would be run by their brand name, but the back-end will be us. We plan to provide them with 10-15 cryptocurrency players.”

As per reports, between November 2017 and February 2018, India on an average imported around 300,000 barrels oil per day (bpd) from Venezuela.

Put up on a pre-sale on February 20th, petro was offered to 127 countries. Maduro claimed the Petro’s pre-sale raked in USD $5 billion and around 171,000 potential investors registered to enter its pre-sale.

While speaking to Business Standard, Angel Gonzales, Venezuela’s vice-minister for hydrocarbons, stated expectations of the country from nations like India to have a “huge interest” in petro.

Maduro introduced petro to evade US sanctions, however, the Venezuelan national crypto has received flak from different corners. According to the age-old think tank Brookings Institute, it will weaken legitimate cryptocurrencies. US President Donald Trump has enforced new sanctions against petro, banning people in the US from purchasing it. Moreover, Venezuela’s own National Assembly declared it unconstitutional.

A source told Business Standard, “Even if it is backed by oil, it is more of a centralized currency. Nobody knows how many coins will be launched or issued. It is not decentralized like bitcoin or ethereum.”

However, despite all the criticism, Venezuela reportedly is looking to make the Petro its official currency by 2020 and claims that a positive impact on the country’s economy will be visible in “three to six months.”

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